For some reason, those chicks sort of keep to themselves, like their own little flock and when they leave the coop in the morning, their favorite place to go is out into the hay field and around the edges of our little forest that is between the house and the road. Those are the most dangerous places they could choose to go. Every day, they make a beeline out there. Then we started losing them one by one, two by two. We suspected that something was coming out of the forest and snatching them or that a chicken hawk was picking them up out of the middle of the field.
Yesterday, we were down to three - an Americauna, a Black Astralorpe, and a Copper Maran.
So, this morning I was in the back yard watering some of my flower beds with the hose and I noticed that the last three were out in the field between the back yard and the forest. After a little while, I heard a commotion and looked up just in time to see an animal chasing wildly after them. It was either a small coyote or a large fox. I got a good look at it, but it was hard to tell. I started yelling, waving my arms, hopped over the fence and ran after it. This alerted Harry and Ginger and they came running and looking at me like "What is it?! What is it?!". I was yelling, "Harry! Get it, get it!" and gesturing after the quickly disappearing killer as it ran away into the forest with my last Americauna in it's mouth.
Harry jumped the fence and took off after it, but I had to run around and open the gate for Ginger because she can't jump the fence yet. I could hear them off in the distance running and barking, but they eventually came back empty-handed. I think the coyote/fox slipped under the fence and crossed the road into our neighbor's field. There are some places along that fence line that have been dug under so that some small animal can slip in and out.
Here is the killing field. To the right is our back ear where I was standing. The chicken was caught over by the dead tree. You can see a small patch of feathers just to the right of the tree. The coyote/fox hesitated for a second to savage the chicken in those two other places where you can see the feathers.
Then it ran off into the forest.
This is all that's left of the chicken. That's not blood. The chicken was white with red and grey speckles.
Harry went back for a second look, following the trail, but the chicken killer was long gone.