Hey all! Just starting out here, so I have some newbie questions. Hope I put this in the right place. I am planning on a very small flock consisting of Ameraucanas, Barred Rocks, Silkies, and Welsummers or Marans, probably no more than 4 or 5. I have a small coop for them with an attached enclosed run. But I'd like to let them free range sometimes. I live in a neighborhood with about a half an acre, and my husband is afraid to let them out in our yard because he doesn't want chickens all over the front lawn and wandering into the neighbor's yards. We're trying to be semi-discrete here with the neighbors. We do have a large dog run, however, that is fenced in with chain link fence. It's about 4 feet high. The coop/chicken run is going to be right up against one side of the dog run anyway, and I was thinking of cutting a hole in the chain link fence and putting a little "door" in there and then letting them free range in the dog run (when the dog is not out , of course!). My question is, will they fly/jump out of it? My neighbor's yard is on the other side of that fence. It's a very large run with lots of room. I wouldn't leave them out there unsupervised, only when I'm home to watch them. I'm not sure how much flying/jumping those breeds do. Hopefully, I could catch them when I need to put them back in! Also, do you have to clip their beaks? I wouldn't want to try doing that myself. Will they peck at each other though if I don't? How cold weather hardy are these breeds? I don't have electricity in my coop, but will have lots of bedding. I can run an outdoor extension cord out there for a heat lamp if it gets really really cold, but I'd rather not have it out there all the time. I'm in North Central MD. We had one or two nights where it got down to about zero, but that's not the norm. This winter was cold with lows in the single digits some nights. However, I'd say teens/low twenties are more average here. And, if I get them as chicks, how long will it take before they start laying? And, how long do they need to stay inside the house with the heat lamp before I can put them out in the coop? They will be in our basement since I don't have a garage or barn. I hope this is the right place to ask these questions. Please feel free to move it if it's not! Thanks!