I just put our first set of 6 weeks old chicks outside last night. We have them in a large fenced in lot, inside another 20X10 foot dog lot, with a cedar chip lined dog house (that they slept in last night) and a coop that we built for daytime fun. I closed them up in the dog lot last night for so they would get used to being outside (and b/c the coop wasn't up and ready until this morning) and opened the lot this morning to let them run around in the grass. They preferred the dog lot (there are no dogs out there) so I left them alone. SO was out there later tonight with the kids playing with the new chicks and I was napping with the babe on the couch. We woke up after dark and I asked SO if the chick were put back up in the dog lot and it seems the lot did not get locked back, thinking they would get in the coop instead. So we head out with a light and cannot find those chicks anywhere. Good news is I saw no signs of a massacre, bad news is I saw no signs of anything. It's like the have vanished. We drove the neighborhood (we are on 1 acre in a neighborhood in the county) and of course, it's not like they were walking the streets and it seems they do not come when they are called. What do I do? Will they be back tomorrow? If they do return, should I clip their wings? If they don't I guess I'll be getting some more. I'm so sad about this. All that work to get them to this size...all that poop, all that smell...all for nothing.