I lost two chickens today. Happened between 1pm and 4pm while I was over at Dad's house. Cooper was with me and the cat was locked in the house. Not sure what took them but I found the wings and feathers of one bird right next to the house - I mean within 15 feet. Nothing visible of the other bird; maybe I'll find some evidence tomorrow on our walk of the property.
We've had signs of a fisher and a coyote in the area, but they hadn't come close to the house. And how weird is it that they left her wings? And lots of feathers? I've heard tales of blood drained or the entire bird carried off, but this seems like it actually took time to dismember and eat her.
Looks like we need to rethink the whole "free-range' concept. At least as far as leaving them out when we're not home anyway. Doubt this would have happened if we'd been around, but you can't guarantee that either. I admit we depend on Cooper to alert us to ground predators and that's likely what this was. So maybe we'll just confine the chickens when we're not around...not sure and it's too fresh to make any real decisions. For now we'll just be sad and mourn.