I can see their point! The barn is a good distance from the house but being warm out we have the windows open and I've been listening to them cockle-doodle-do-it-out in the barn this morning starting bright and early. Just to bust a myth - roosters crow any time of the day - all day. I think we may have the farm version of Canadian Idol going on in there as they compete with Solomon the Second for the loudest crow.
I agree with the original owners that one of them is a Wheaten Ameraucana. That's the one with the furry beard. The other is up for debate - any ideas?. I think we've decided on Claude and Rupert for their new names - Jean Claude was the name of a poodle in a very funny episode of the Beverley Hill Billies. My daughter was away at school last year and bemoaned the fact that she was not part of the naming of most of the other animals so she choose Rupert. Who am I to argue - I'm just happy she's home for awhile - so Rupert it is!!
In a few days they will be officially introduced to the rest of the flock and allowed to roam the farm. So how does one tell if it's a hen or a rooster as chicks - I've never been able to figure that out reliably but I recently heard that when the chicks feather-out you can check their neck feathers - if they're pointy it's a rooster and if they're rounded it's a hen. I've been checking out the barnyard and it's true! Learn something new every day!
The animal we got rid of was a pesky raccoon. I used to love raccoons. When we lived in the city they didn't do me any harm. I would see lots of them while driving at dusk and when we went camping. My favorite memory was leaving a watermelon under the trailer during one camping trip - the next morning the was a fist sized hole in it and all the insides were missing. Stinkers. Then we moved to the farm.
A barn is the perfect habitat for raccoons - warm and dry with access to lots of food. Raccoons are smart and have very dexterous fingers so they pop off the lids of animal feed bins, sit in them and eat till they nearly explode. This one was getting into the feed room by climbing down between the walls and the rafters. A few chickens did a face-off with it and lost as well. All of a sudden it's not cute because it's getting expensive! So we built a critter-proof feed room, sealed up every hole we could find and set a trap on the other side of the barn where we thought it was holed up.
The trap is the kind that can be purchased at any co-op or farm store. We baited ours with a marshmallow tied in cheese cloth. It took a few nights of stolen bait to realise we had to tie it to the bottom of the trap so the raccoon couldn't just reach in and steal it. We finally caught the critter - GREAT - now what to do with it. Do you know there are no instructions with the cage for how to release it! We drove off to the local conservation area - about 10km away - and let it go without any trouble. I was wearing a red oven glove in lieu of the "heavy work gloves" that were suggested since I don't own a pair. I think that was rather appropriate - don't you?