So...I'm moving along on this chicken adventure, after starting with 6 chicks in March. Those lovely ladies (golden sex links) are laying lovely brown eggs daily and have adjusted to their schedule of coop overnight, run during most of the day, and free-ranging for a couple of hours before bedtime. I have a second group of 6 that are 8 weeks younger; they are still spending the night in a large brooder and spending most of the day in a large tractor near the run. About a week ago we began letting them free-range with the older hens with relative peace. One of the older hens seems to be the self-appointed guardian, keeping the young ones in line. Occasionally an older hen will chase and lightly peck at one of the younger ones (usually one of the Easter Eggers or one of the Rhode Island Reds). The chase lasts only a second or two; none of the young ones has "stood up" to the older hens yet. My question is this - when can I move the younger ones into the coop overnight with relative safety? Or, is some fighting inevitable, no matter how long I do this shared free-range routine? I'm just hoping to minimize injuries, and probably being a worry wart. What ideas do any of you have?? Thanks for your expertise and experience info!!