I used to have one more chicken than I do this morning.
A coyote must have got one of the dumb black ones the other night. I don't like the black chickens, anyway, but the least the predator could have done was to take one of the roosters. I hate roosters.
Oh well. Coyotes have to eat, too. I hope it had a nice feast on the chicken.
We let our chickens go free-range. They have a house (there are two separate flocks), but they can come and go as they please. Or as predators please, I guess. We don't normally have much of a problem with predation because of our other animals -- horses, dogs, and goats, which, I think, most predators are probably afraid of. Well... not the goats, I guess.
I think I would give just about anything to have some chupacabra-esque predator swoop down and take my goats away. I mean... how long do goats live, anyway? We bought them maybe ten years ago to clear brush on our property. The brush has been cleared, but the goats are still here.
And to say they've outlived their usefulness would be behind the times by about ten years, I guess. When I was building my barn, one of the goats came and ate a bungee cord that was hanging out of my pocket. Well, he didn't swallow the whole thing... only about half of it. The other half, and the hook, were hanging from his mouth as he was attempting to get it all down.
This is why I don't find any quality of the goat to be endearing. I would tell you what I did next, but people would likely complain. Suffice it to say, I got my bungee cord back, and the goat is still alive.
I've even tried to encourage them to wander off into the hills and seek their freedom, but they keep coming back. Goats hate getting wet, and they know there's an open barn here, and plenty of bungee cords to eat.