Ok, there are so many great threads about cooping and free ranging and I can't read them all. But I need help quickly please. I have to leave my 8 week old chickens (28) in the care of my adult son and husband for 5 days to help my mother. I'm in tears today because I don't feel like I have control of the situation here, so how can I give instructions to my guys who know nothing? I have been cooping my chickens at night after they have the freedom to venture between the coop and their large run during the day. It has been successful until 4 days ago and now the worms (freeze dried) do not temp more than half of them to get into the coop at night. It's a struggle to get them all in at night and takes 2 of us. I really don't want to impose this on the guys especially since they don't know how to handle them. So here's my question: what do you think of me just letting them have run/coop choice at night as well? Description of setup: I live in West Texas on 72 acres The coop is extra solid (Tuff Shed) and has air conditioning, because of the solid walls and Texas heat. The run is covered in both chicken wire and black chicken fencing overhead and all around. The fencing is not buried, but staked with 1 foot of it laying outside of the run and curved up making the sides of the run. The staked part is also held by heavy rocks lining the whole perimeter. The coop (Tuff Shed) is raised allowing the chickens access underneath and fenced with a double layer of chicken wire staked and rocked as described above. I have 5 donkeys that have full access to the property, so coyotes have not been an issue and Mr fox keeps his distance. I've had game cameras up that show NO critters trying to get at the chickens night or day., but you never know. I would love to free range eventually, but I just need to get through the next week before I can start that process. What would you do? Thank you for you help.