I have 5 adolescent chickies that are 7 weeks old (buff orpington, 2 dominiques, 2 wyandottes). I had 8, but three were lost to a raccoon who managed to pry open the door to the hen house. The external entrance and all the egg doors are now completely secure, although I'm sure the raccoon has tried to reach through the ventilation holes at night. The henhouse is a 4' x 4' chick'n barn with a cupola and internal roost with around 6" of pine litter on a patio brick floor. When inside at night, the birds sleep piled into a corner roosted on a brick. The henhouse is attached to an 8' x 8' by 6" tall enclosed run (floor, sides, and roof) that has a 3' rain roof over part of it. It has a sandy floor (with chicken wire under it) and four dowel roosts. They share this run with 3 homing doves. But they HATE sleeping inside the henhouse. This didn't start right after the raccoon attack (which would have made sense). It was fairly cool then and I would come out to put them in at dusk and they'd already be all snuggled up inside - I just had to close the door. But now that it's 60 degrees or so at night, they want to roost outside in the run for the night or sleep on the hay bale I leave out there for sitting on. Lately they've taken to pushing one of the doves off the 4' perch. It isn't hot, stuffy, or smelly inside the henhouse. Can I leave them out? It would take a determined effort for a dog to get at them (and I've never seen a feral dog around). I don't think a raccoon or skunk or cat could do it. But a raccoon could reach through the wire and maul one of them in their sleep if it was willing to climb the chicken wire and the chickens didn't wake up. They get SO mad when I put them in for the night. I put in a plexiglass door so I could see them with the door closed and they just crowd there and bang at it to get out. When I keep reading you have to put your birds in for the night, I can't tell if they mean in the henhouse per se, or just in an entirely enclosed pen. I could put a roost in that is away from the walls. But I don't want to lose any more chickies. Any thoughts?