I'm a new chicken lover. Just raised my first 6 from hatchlings. Lost three in the past month that are 4 months old. The first kill was to two of my babies. One looked like it had its neck broken and was dead (no other marks) the other had it's backbone sort of exposed (looked like somtheing scaped it to the bone, and it was still alive, but died shortly thereafter). They were out all day and no one was home. They were out from about 10am til 6pm. (that's when I found them) My coop (inside and out) is like Fort Knox. But I had let them free range in my backyard in Portland, Oregon. I'm in a suburban neighborhood, but my backyard does back up to a green space. My yard is fully fenced, (with a 5 ft. high cyclone fence) so after the first kill, I was especially vigilant. A couple weeks later, I let them free range again. I let them out at 10am on a Saturday when I was home, and went out at 11am and found another one of my darlings killed. She had a small quarter-shaped wound on one of her wings. There were no other marks, and she was just left there. In my area, I see many chickens roaming around in people's yards My girls are dieing to get out every morning. I'm starting to feel bad about leaving them in the coop all day. What could have killed them? (and if it was a predator, why wouldn't they have eaten them, and taken them away, especially the first two because they had so much time) We do have some racoons around, but very few other predators. There are quite a few cats in the neighborhood, do they kill chickens, and then just leave them alone? Any help would be appreciated. Would love to let my girls loose in the yard again.