Hi! I just joined this forum today. My DH and I just picked up our first chickens 2 days ago. We got 4 silver laced wyandottes, and 3 mixed reds. I am not sure of their age, but they all still have some downy feathers. We are in upstate NY, and have heard that these breeds winter well, which is important here in the North Country. My biggest problem so far is that the girls like their coop a bit too much. When I figure out how to upload a photo, you will see why. It is a lovely old shed with 8-ft ceilings, 2 doors and 5 big windows. We are on 22 acres, but maybe only 4 or 5 of them would be accessible to the chickens. To start with, we made a fenced area behind the coop that is about 10' x 50'. We hope to eventually let them free range during the day, and lock them up in the coop at night as protection. But for now, we need to protect them during the day from our 2 labs who never met a chicken before... Aside from putting one of the feeders outside, is there any way to encourage them to come out and play? I heard that wild birds will get used to using the feeder, and that is bad for my birds. Should I just be more patient and let them find their way out there in time? I have also tried carrying them outside. The 3 red girls will allow me to pick them up and carry them out. They poke around, eat a few blades of grass, then high-tail it back in there after only a minute or 2. The B&W ones won't let me come anywhere near them to pick them up, but they will run outside and stay out there briefly when I come in the coop. They even had their first dirt bath yesterday, all 4 of them together. Just looking for some advice.