While I was offline (hard drive died**), I let the chickens out in the afternoon since DH said they'd probably return to their cage once it started getting dark. He was right - for one night only! They've been free-range chickens after that first night.
One day I noticed the young male was missing, and wondered if maybe the rooster might have killed it. But two nights later I heard a ruckus and rushed outside to see a raccoon chasing the rooster. We chased the raccoon off, but later when I checked on them, I heard the mother hen making awful noises. She, and her attacker were already gone by the time DH rushed out. DH put out a humane trap with tuna, but haven't caught anything yet (surprising, since we also have possums and at least one feral cat).
Main rooster decides he and remaining young lady should roost on the satellite dish on the roof for the rest of the night. Now they're roosting in the trees.
I haven't tried buying them a cage I can elevate since I don't think we'd be able to catch them. But today something happened that gave me an idea: I found a roach in their scratch container, scooped the roach along with the scratch, and poured it all out in front of the rooster. He nabbed that roach in a split-second, and the young lady ran full speed to steal it away from him! DH said his Grandma's chickens acted that way with crickets, so maybe I could buy some crickets from the pet store to lure them into a new cage. I sure hope it works, for it'll be getting cold here soon.
**For the past two years, I've tried numerous times to make an image backup with my Win7 Dell Inspiron laptop, but they all failed for some unknown reason. So once I had the dead hard drive replaced, I thought I had to order replacement disks from Dell (turns out we already had the disks that came with the laptop, but since I didn't set it up, I didn't know, doh!) So I kept waiting and waiting for Dell's "one day delivery" - that took almost two weeks and almost daily calls!
Once we had disks to reinstall, we went straight for the OS and everything worked great - I was able to make a backup image on my external USB hard-drive right away!
I suspect Dell's crapware might have had something to do with my not being able to make an image-backup in the past, as it had its own backup system - maybe Windows and Dell's backup systems conflicted with each other? But since I gave up trying to use Windows backup and found good reviews of Paragon's free home version backup-image program, I suppose it could have been Windows backup not liking me. BTW, I'm pleased with Paragon's image backup.
I'm also going to try to make a slipstream w/ SP1 for my USB hard drive in case I might have different hardware settings in the future, but I'll have to study slipstreaming a bit more, and make a bit more room on the USD HD too LOL