I have a rooster. He is a year old. I let my flock free roam, but not on a set schedule. AND they had been in total lock down for two days. So happy to catch bugs when they got out. My theory is that if you don't have a set schedule, predators move on.... and a rooster for alertness. So much for that theory. Something got my favorite hen, Butter, the champion broody hen, who was raising her brood. Missing her, just a pile of feathers, and 4-5 chicks too. Last night when I went to lock up, I realize she is gone, find pile of feathers. Now what to do with the remaining chicks? There was no problem with the broody hen, the rest of my flock ignored the chicks, or an occasional peck, just a manners reminder. Last night they were still ignoring them. I am afraid to let them free range for a while, but will being locked up, make the layers get cranky with the babies. The chicks are 3.5 weeks old. Guess I better head down and see what I can do, I don't dare let the chicks free range without a broody hen, and if I keep them locked up, my layers can't get into lay!