I have a similar story. When I was a boy my uncle purchased a piece of property in Conneticut in the heart of farm country. One of the first things he did was buy a few chickens and a rooster for the eggs. They were Rhode Island Reds and the rooster was absolutely beautiful.All he did was cut a hole in the side of the barn and build an area for the hens to lay at the time. The animals were allowed to free roam during the day.Well needless to say in a very short time he lost a few birds and decided to build a coop.Well come to find out this did not stop the local predators from having a midnight snack. After losing a few more birds even though there was a coop he decided to take matters in to his own hands. My uncle had a side by side ten gauge shotgun and decided he was going to wait on his porch until the critter came. Well the critter came my uncle was out cold with the gun in his lap. He woke up decided to cut loose with both barrels and all he hit was the pole thay was holding up the clothesline blowing it to pieces! He saw the coon that night run away with another of his birds in his mouth still quite alive and not the least bit scared.