Hi there, I am super-new to chicken raising & this has been a dramatic week. I'd appreciate any help I can get! First of all, I've been introducing my little chicks (7 weeks) to the bigger ones (13.5 weeks) for about two weeks (3-4x/week) by placing them in a pen covered by chicken wire so they couldn't be pecked. The younger ones are 3 pullets & the older ones are 2 pullets and a cockerel. Yesterday I introduced one of the babies to the cockerel by holding her in my arms -- he climbed up on my lap & took a big chunk of feathers out of her neck. I really liked the cockerel (even though he was sold to me as a hen) & figured I'd keep him until I saw his aggressive behavior (which has been amping up along with his hormones & crowing). I finally made the decision to give him back to the store I got him at so he could be sent to a farm. Realizing that the remaining 13.5 week olds would now have to re-establish a pecking order, I decided to integrate my 7 week olds overnight so that the pecking order would only need to be established once in the entire flock. The 13.5 week olds haven't been as interested in the 7 week olds as the cockerel over the last two weeks, so I hoped for the best & took a chance. So I integrated the baby chicks onto the roosting bar with the older gals at dusk. At first they were pecked a couple of times by one of the older gals. I clapped my hands loudly to make her stop & she did. The little ones continued to make a lot of crying noises for about an hour or so, then everybody slept peacefully. I got up at the break of dawn to open the coop to the run & everyone was fine. I kept them in the attached run for most of the day. The older gals chased & pecked at the little ones all day long, but they never truly behaved in a life-threatening way...no major chunks of feathers went missing & no blood was drawn. I finally put out more feeders & water stations in the run, and there was peace for a while. Eventually I let them all free-range in an adjacent fenced off area & they seemed to be much happier all around. The problem I'm facing is that the little chicks don't know how/where to go to sleep at night. The cockerel took care of herding the older hens at night when I first moved them outside (at age 8 weeks), but neither of my remaining 13.5 week old pullets stepped up to do that for the little ones today. So I had to pick up the little gals one by one & place them on the roosting bar tonight (from an outside door) instead of being able to shoo them up the ladder like the first set had done 7 weeks ago. The little ones again made noise for about an hour or so before it got dark enough for them to relax & settle down. Should I just keep the little ones locked up in the coop by themselves during the day after the older gals have gone down into the run every morning? I'm thinking a few days of doing this could help them realize it's home/where they sleep. But it has been in the mid-80s & hot during the day, so I'm concerned that locking them up all day could be harmful...plus, they wouldn't get to establish a pecking order with the older gals. Also, the coop has a hardware cloth bottom (except for the ladder which pulls up to form part of the base), so the little chicks wouldn't have the opportunity to scratch at pine shavings like they do in the run. But if I don't keep them confined to the coop for a few days (a week?), will I have to tuck them into bed every night? How long would that go on for?? Or should I just let them sleep down in the run if they want, instead of forcing them to sleep in the coop on a roosting bar? My older gals didn't start sleeping on the roosting bars until 11 weeks old, but they would sleep on the hardware cloth floor of the coop just fine. I never had to lock them up, but I had to push the 7 week olds off the roosting bar this morning to get them down on the ladder & into the run for food/water! Thank you so much for reading all this (I know it's a lot)...any and all help is truly appreciated!!!