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Horrible holiday return
Awe sorry April Sad... I've had something similar happen. I went out for dinner in Chicago (45 mins away) and got home about 11:30PM (sunset was around 8:30PM) and found (what I'm guessing) was a mother coyote and her pups got to my chickens. They only carried off about 6 of them and left 14 wounded and 6 dead laying all over the yard around the outside of the coop. I suspect the coyotes because when I pulled up in the car I saw 2 set of eyes glowing in the distance. It looked to be a small dog of some sort. Needless to say it was a costly experience for my so I invested in lots of stuff to help protect my chickens. I tried windmills to scare away predators, The glowing eye things you plug in outside, motion lights, automatic chicken coop door, etc. I even went as far as to have a small radio playing so AM gospel preaching station to keep the girls prayed up and scare the predators away when they hear the preacher hollering. Basically now I have a dog water dish that self fills with a water hose connected and a large feeder that hold 1 full bag of feed at a time. I literally can go out of town for 2 weeks at a time and my chickens will be safe, sound, healthy, and still free to roam about. If I do go for 2 weeks straight I may have a few broody chickens since no one collected the eggs but that better than losing some of them. I definitely recommend exploring some chicken safety products or coming up with a few ideas of your own as I have. Some are costly but I know when I added up coop, feed, and chicks costs I was on average $200 per chicken before they started laying eggs around 6 months old. You'll want to protect your investment in your coop and girls (hens). I got most everything off Amazon. The automatic chicken coop doors lets my chickens out in the morning and looks them up after it gets dark. This allows them to still get out of the coop even when I'm not in town. If your taking trips to Croatia I'd recommend getting something similar to it. Here is a link to the one I got: Its been operating my coop door for about 7 years now. The only thing I have to do is adjust the timer to the changing seasons to be sure the door closes around sunset. Best of luck to you in the future. Don't give up on chicken keeping! It can be very easy if it's done right. You just have to find what works best for you.

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