We lost a chicken.
No one saw it happen, so at first we weren't sure exactly what got it; we just knew that at 5:00 in the afternoon there were two big piles of feathers and only 12 chickens cowering in the chicken run.
Our German Shepherd tracked whatever-the-culprit-was until it crossed the creek, and we were impressed that he found three more piles of feathers along the way. He had been with us in the garage while we worked that day, so we didn't blame him for not scaring off the predator, but we were very impressed with his previously undemonstrated skill of tracking on command!
The next afternoon around 3:00, I took a break from our garage work because a chicken was making a strange noise out behind the barn. I walked out to where they were, and found ten chickens huddled together next to the barn, and the remaining two squawking noisily next to the elderberry tree halfway between the house and the creek. I couldn't see anything wrong, so I walked past them toward the creek, and when I turned my head there was a big coyote just standing there by the creek looking at me.
Wait, did I say a big coyote?
I was wrong.
It was a REALLY big coyote.
So of course I did what any self-respecting country girl would do.
I shouted for Mike.
And threw a stick at it.
It ran away, and when Mike didn't come (because he couldn't hear me over his music), I shouted some more and threw a few more sticks for good measure. Shouting at an invisible coyote while throwing sticks at said invisible coyote is extremely therapeutic.
The next morning, after many cups of coffee, Mike was upstairs in our bathroom when the dog started barking his special just-let-me-out-of-this-fence-and-I'll-tear-you-apart bark, and two of our girls (upstairs in their bedroom) starting screaming, "Coyote! Daddy, there's a coyote!"
By the time Mike got to the window, the dog was trying to climb the fence, and the coyote had almost disappeared back into the tall grass along the creek. There just happened to be an antique Russian sniper rifle loaded and sitting next to the bathroom window, and the screen from the window just happened to have been removed the day before, so Mike squeezed off two quick shots at the disappearing coyote.
But that coyote hasn't been back (in the daylight hours) since.