My chicks will be 5 weeks old next week. That means it's almost time to kick them out of their comfy garage home and into the "big girl coop." Our coop is all set up and I'm looking forward to putting it to good use. I know I'm supposed to lock them in for a week or so before I let them roam around the yard, but my question is do they have to be in the coop for that week or can I let them in the run occasionally? On the one hand I'll be happy to get them out of my garage. They are NOT very tidy chickens. The bedding gets scattered everywhere since we're using a huge wire dog crate as their brooder, plus it gets tracked in the house from the garage. I'm very thankful for my shop-vac that makes clean-up really easy! And have I mentioned the crate is HUGE...like big enough for a Great Dane huge! My garage will seem a lot bigger once the crate is put away. On the other hand, I'll worry about them all locked up out there in the dark! (I know, I know...they'll be fine...lol) Here's a few pictures of our little flock... On the roost at 3 weeks old A supervised visit to the "big girl yard"