I'm about to get chickens and have been doing lots of research, but I feel like I'm getting mixed messages reading all these threads.
I'm going to get a secure coop, and put it inside a secure run (with the fence dug under the ground, rocks against the fence, all that recommended stuff). I've read threads about closing the coop door at night, and everyone says this is a MUST. However, people also say adult chickens can be left alone for a weekend, Also, I plan to let them free range outside the coop when I'm around during the day.
Questions: -If the chickens are left alone for a weekend (with food and water) just leave the coop open to the secure run?
-Is the answer the same if it is the winter? I live in the country (read: coyotes) in central NY.
-Is it appropriate to ever leave the coop closed for a whole day?
-Do they need supervision when free ranging?
-How hard is it to get them back in the run/coop?
Any tips would be wonderful! Count down to baby chicks is 26 days!!!