This morning, after googling "how deep bury chicken," we had a brief but poignant funeral for our chickens Sylvia and Chippy, killed by raccoons last night. Wren made drawings of rainbows and Josh put them in paper bags labeled with their names. They were good chickens. They died too young - as mere adolescents - and I feel we failed them by not reinforcing the door enough.
Since she arrived, Mum has been saying "the raccoons could get in here or the raccoons could get under here." She turned out to be right.
There are signs of digging all around the perimeter of the coop where Joshua had laid chicken wire underground. The place they finally got in is under the gate where the chicken wire was left off to enable the gate to move freely. It seems as if they pushed in a section of gate and then pulled the chickens out underneath.
Ruby survived. We are very pleased about that. However, she has decided we are her flock and tried to roost on the back of a kitchen chair at dusk. We have put her back in the coop (cleaned, as it had blood spatter and clumps of feathers) and have reinforced the gate, locked the nesting coop area (an interior coop that is more secure) and hope to find a friend for Ruby within the week.