Hi, We got 3 chickens last year and it has been a fantastic experience - for both myself and the kids. We enjoyed the eggs so much we decided to get 2 more chickens this year. Chicks are about 18 weeks old and we placed them out with the older birds at around 12 weeks old. At first we kept them separate by dividing the run and then after about 2 weeks I opened them all up together. The older birds have not been brutal on the chicks but they do let them know they are at the bottom of the order. They have never drawn blood and I gave the chicks a safe zone with some logs placed on ground so they could escape through the spaces between the logs. I also have two roosting poles outside in the run and the chicks usually keep to the side of the run I first placed them in. My issue is that I allowed the chicks to sleep outside in the run - hoping that as they got older and more established that they would go in to the coop at night with the other birds by themselves. That does not appear to be happening. So this week I have started going out at night and putting them in coop (on separate roosting pole but at same height). I also close the doors so they are all locked in there together until I open it again in the am. So my question is - is this the best way to do this? Is there a better way? Any idea of how long I will have to do this? Also, I cannot close the chicks in there all day because the older chickens go to their nesting boxes in the coop. Thanks for your advice and appreciate all the info out here. It has been very helpful.