I have a chicken coop about 500 feet from the house with 9 free-ranging adult hens in it (at night only). Just this summer I raised 10 new chicks, born in March. I had them inside during the cold months, then outside in a protected area near the house, then finally let them start free-ranging about 2 months ago. They were really good about going back in the evening to the large dog crate (inside a fence) that was their home. The older girls often come back here by the house and the little-chicken fenced area, and all 19 chickens are getting along well. I held off putting the chicks in the big coop because we had 3 mean roosters who would have beat them up for sure, especially since one of the chicks turned out to be a rooster. Then I got rid of the 3 older roosters, so the youngsters could safely go in with the big girls, but after 3 weeks of carrying them out there, they still won't go on their own. They spend every night closed up in the big coop, but still congregate in the hay bales back by the house as it is getting dark. I can't leave them out there because we have too many night critters who would like a nice chicken dinner! Husband and I are getting really tired of transporting chickens every night, and chickens are getting more difficult to catch and carry out there. I have scratches on both arms to show how much they don't like being escorted back home. Their safe house (the dog crate) now has a mommy duck with 8 ducklings in it, so they can't go back in there. Not sure what to do? Any chicken whisperers with some advice?