Hello all. I am new to NYC as a member. I have been reading lots of posts since Doing of 2016 when my husband brought 2 18 week red hens home. My boys named them JellyBean and Juanita (Johnny's hen). I converted a 8'x8' fenced in area into a chicken area but did not fully enclose as they had the coop for evening protection. During day they free range in fenced in yard. I even paid to have separate dog potty area fenced in to allow chickens to free range, and then have to herd them into chicken run before allowing dogs (greyhounds) to race around entire backyard. Works out well since my dogs sleep most of the day and last for about 15 mins of high speed high jinks in backyard each day. Unfortunately something took my hens in June. no feathers found- assuming attack was quick and from above. So I built into chicken run enclosing the top and got 4 straight run chicks locally. 3 chocolate Orpington and 1 red. The red is definitely a hen (pullet?) & 1 of the 3 chocolate orps was a definite hen. I had a definite rooster and the 3rd, I'm not sure about. Sadly I am down to2. I have reinforced chicken run with square pavers inside run perimeter, added retaining wall edging on outside in addition to the chicken wire I put up 1 foot outside and over entire run. Yet something burrowed in and murdered (very violent scene) my definite chocolate Orpington hen Penguin. Head gone, gutted and entrails spread all over run. At this point I added the stone edgers, blocks but didn't finish in time and 2 days later my definite Rooster chocolate Orpington went MIA overnight. I could see where he was pulled out (feathers) and reinforced that area as well. In the last month I've only caught raccoons in the trap I set out. Now my remaining Chocolate Orpington is friendly enough, 18weeks and has started being vocal in the morning. I bring food in at night and his/her calls don't sound like what I expect a rooster to sound like. They seem to be shorter, but loud and as soon as he/she gets access to feeder all is quiet. I learned this morning that he/she also seems to alert to change as well (I put food in a dog bowl thinking I'll just put that small bowl in the coops so they have access when they come down the ramp. Bad idea, very loud response from the chocolate one "Ace". Red is very quiet. Ace seemed to have a pink comb and wattle, at least when Ace was next to the definite rooster. But now I don't know if Ace is just vocal dominant female or a rooster. I will try to figure out how to upload a photo in case anyone cares to share their thoughts on whether Ace is a rooster or vocal bossy hen.