I added 5 pullets to my very small flock just over a month ago. Of the new birds, one is 5-6 months old, and the other four are probably 3 months. Once they were allowed to mingle in the run (which is about 20 feet by 12 feet, but don't quote me), they settled right in. But every now and then, I sense that they want to explore the world a bit more. Meanwhile, my four pre-existing 2-year-old birds are allowed out to free-range for awhile most days, under human supervision. Usually, I open the door to the coop, call "adult swim!" and they come running. Then the rooster and I watch for predators while they peck around and dust-bathe in my flower beds. I think they really enjoy their time away from the high-energy pullets, to be honest! Sometimes I pluck the 6-month-old bantam out of the pack of little ones and allow her to wander with the big ones, and she seems to like it. But she's easy to catch when it's time to go in. So, when would you allow the little girls to join the older birds in the rest of the yard? I think they want to go, and I'd like to let them... but... Here's the problem: I can't catch the little ones easily. Unlike my older birds, they weren't handled much when they were chicks, and when I got them they were too skittish to allow me to pick them up. If we catch them, they'll settle down and allow themselves to be petted for a bit, but it's not their first choice. I'm a bit worried that they'll be impossible to round up when it's time to go in, so I haven't let them out yet. We have so many predators around here that I can't just let them wander around all day and trust they'll make it back indoors intact when it's time to go to bed. And if they follow the big girls, that means they'll be climbing sets of stairs to the front door, and hanging around high retaining walls. Curse the landscaper!