Hi everyone. Thank you in advance for any answers you can give me. My two hens are between 11 months old and a year. One is a buff Orpington and one is a Cochin. They get along really well, but the first week I had them ( I got them in May) the orp would chase and peck at the cochin. It did not last more than a few days and I summed it up to stress from the move. They are great together now. The coop is 16 sq feet and the run is 45 sq feet. Now for the problem.....I have 4 chicks. One is 7 weeks old, one is 6 weeks and 6 days, one is 6 weeks and 3 days and one is 6 weeks and 2 days. Right now they spent their days in a tractor next to the girls pen. They are under a shade tree and I put a towel on top for additional shade. They come in at night and sleep in a rat cage. The indoor cage is getting a bit cramped but I don't dare leave them out at night. They have been going out during the day for about 5 days now. My ultimate plan is to put them in at night while the big girls are asleep. I am also thinking of putting branches in the pen so the chicks have a better chance to run away. My biggest questions I guess is when it would be safest to do this, and how to keep the chicks from eating the layer pellets, and the big girls from eating the chick food. Both orpingtons and Cochins are supposed to be gentle calm breeds. How much danger are these chicks in? Any and all advice is hugely appreciated.