I am stunned, we've had chickens for 4 years now, I have one indoor coop that has an enclosed pen, this houses my crested and bantam girls to protect from hawks. My standards free range in a fenced chicken yard and and are locked up tight at night. This morning my 10 year old son was letting the birds out when he found one of our white EE'rs ripped open (just outside the door to the coop). I am sure it was a hawk, we have many of them around and I remember seeing and hearing one just yesterday. When we lock up the girls at night it is dark and we wouldn't have seen her until of this morning of course.
I didn't think a hawk would go for a full size chicken. My birds have lived like this for 4 years and the hawks have never been an issue thus far. I really thought they were too big to be prey. She was pure white, I wonder if she was more of a target? although there is plenty of snow on the ground. She layed the bluest of blue eggs, I will really miss her :(
With all the snow cover my birds can't get any kind of shelter except the coop (which is always open during the day), in the nice weather they have lots of little pines, tree's and brush to hide under. With the snow they can't make it over to them. I am wondering if I need to build another covered pen and ditch my free range idea.
I am so sad.