I am new to this forum and new to chickens. I live in NH and have 2 bantam Old English hens and one rooster, 3 NH Red hens and 3 Barred Rock hens. I built a 4 ft x 8 ft coop for them with a small door with ramp for them to go in and out to their run. The run is 8 ft x 8 ft and is extremely secure. It is 8 ft high with doubled wire on top. I buried welded wire all around the entire run and coop, 2 ft on the outside and 2 ft on the inside. The sides are one layer of chicken wire, one layer of 1/2 inch hardware cloth and one layer of welded wire! The entire bottom edge of the run is encased with landscape ties including the door. The chickens are now 5 weeks old. At first I was shutting them in at night, but over the past week & 1/2 I have left the hatchway open 24/7. They do go inside to eat and sometimes to roost or get out of the sun. They have taken to roosting outside every night, rain or shine. I am wondering if this is a bad habit?? Should I keep up a routine of them being shut in at night or is it ok for them to sleep outside? I am assuming and hoping that my design is fairly predator-proof, as I have seen or heard no sign of attemped access. Anyone out there who thought that they had a predator-proof run and found out the hard way that it wasn't? We are planning on vacationing for a week and filling their ample food and water containers and leaving the hatch open for them to go in and out of the run as they please. I appreciate comments from all of you "chicken people"!!