I have 4 chicks that are 6 weeks old now. My plan was for them to roam my fenced in backyard without having a coop. I was planning on having a dog house for them to sleep and lay eggs in. Right now, I put them out in the morning into a 4 ft x 4 ft pen and they are protected from the neighbors cats. Then I bring them in at night to sleep in a box in my laundry room. I dont know how to handle the transition to releasing them into the yard. And how old should they be? One chick is a real flyer and I fear that shell fly over my fence (6 ft.) into the mouths of my neighbors dogs. But, if I clip her wings then she cant fly into the trees to evade possible predators. Any ideas on how old they should be and how I should go about setting them free? Is there anything I should consider that I havent thought about yet? I have never had chickens before so this is all new to me and I might be a bit of a worry wort. All input and ideas are greatly appreciated!