I loved reading all the answers you received. May I offer another? I "stress" at the thought of my girls not being tucked in at night. I work swing shift and depend on others to tuck them in when I am working nights. I have a battery run motion detecting night light on my refridge hanging on a magnet hook, with a rubber band, over the wipe-off board. My instructions are written on this board and when they come home, and ALWAYS go by the fridge, that light shines my message to them... the light was only $17 in a mag. which I am sure you can find on line too. Motion light is nice on stairway too. Anyway, it works for everyone.
My girls have a coop that has a "bridge" they walk over/thru to their pen which has a roof. The coop door can be slide closed -or opened- from out side to tuck them in at night. To explain even more : The coop can separate from the pen. Detachable. Your ingenious brother will understand for sure. Yes, they also have a fenced-in yard which is attached to the pen only, not the coop, and it has protective netting over it. In a sense, they have a 3 sectional set-up. And yes they get to free range when I am home. I can go into their coop with out walking thru the fenced area or the pen. Which is very nice collecting eggs and keeping my shoes clean. I can close their little sliding door on their coop, that opens to the " covered inclosed bridge", when I need to do any kind of cleanup. Convenient for all.
Thanks for bringing up a good subject that all good chicken keepers care about.