I went out to pen up the free ranging chickens last night, and for some reason they refused to go into their enclosure. It finally dawned on me that there must be a reason for their reluctance, most likely a snake. So I closed up the coop, went and got my PMR 30, and went back to investigate. No snake, but a very large raccoon had taken up residence in one of the nesting boxes! I shot him in the face and hauled him out for a photo op. After disposing of his carcass, the chickens came in and settled in for the evening.
So I've gotten a possum and a coon in and around the coop over the last couple of days, will a fox, coyote or bobcat be next? I'll definitely start carrying a piece when I work the chickens from now on!