We suffered our first loss to predators last night. I don't know for a fact it was a raccoon, but the killing style was consistent with what a coon does. Sadly our rooster Fred-the-Red and one of the Black Australorp hens I got myself for my birthday last year were killed.
Bekah did her chores before dark last night so the chickens hadn't gone to roost yet. I told her I would go out and shut up the coop after dark, but I forgot all about it. I've forgotten to close up in the past without any problems, but obviously this time was different.
Fred-the-Red was the only named chicken in our flock, and he was a perfect fit for us. He was not overly aggressive with the children, although he would chase them if they messed with his ladies. And while his crow wasn't the most melodious I always enjoyed hearing him. He was such a handsome fellow and is going to be missed, as will that beautiful black hen and her lovely brown eggs.