My SO has a very early morning doctor's appointment in Hot Springs on the 3rd of July. Since Hot Springs is a couple hours away and because I'd love to have a chance to just explore in that town, we've talked about going up the day before, staying overnight, then going to his appt. the next morning before returning home. The chicks, 10 weeks old now, will be in their coop and run by then. The coop and run are well-built, but not Fort Knox. I know I don't want to leave them shut up in the coop while we're gone; it's just too dang hot here in July. I don't have anyone that could come and shut them up at night and come back to release them the next morning. The only person that could do that for us can't because he has commercial chicken houses and therefore can't be around my yard birds. I'm thinking that my only option may be to leave them with access to their run for the daytime and I'm pretty sure they'll go back in their coop at night; only the door to their run will of course remain open overnight. I thought about tying our dog Jake up close to the coop where he would surely bark if any creatures come around the coop, hopefully scaring the predator away. Although we have lots of predators on the property, they pretty much stay clear of the house. My SO's Mom raised yard chickens for alot of years on this farm and he tells me the only predator problem she ever had was skunks stealing eggs. I'm open to ideas. Thanks!