I recently replaced my older flock with 16 new chicks who are now 10 weeks old. I've had them in the outside coop for about 7 weeks now. And I've encountered a problem I've never had before - RATS!!! Since the chicks are still young, they don't weigh enough to open the treadle feeder I have, so I've been leaving it propped open, even at night. I realize that I'm leaving a feast for the rats. So I now close the feeder at night & open it in the morning. When I awake around 7 am, the chicks have been awake for at least an hour. And they are starving. Am I harming them by not having feed available as soon as they awake? I really need to remove the food at night to help control the rats.