Didn't want to hijack someone else's thread with my questions so thought I'd be more polite to start my own. My 5.5 week old chicks are in their coop (converted horse stall in small barn-like structure). This weekend I should have time to let them out to play and supervise them. First let me say that my chickens are not all that fond of me. If I sit quietly in their coop with them they will eventually peck around my feet and even lay down near me, but if I put my hand out, no matter how slowly they run from me. So naturally I am concerned that if I let them out I am going to have a real hard time getting them back in the coop. Hubby thinks I should take their food away for an hour or two at a time, so that when I bring it back they will associate me with food. But they do already anyway, don't they? When I refill their food, it is never empty, but they do all rush over to it after I put it down. (and get out of the way) I'd bet there is no real trick to it, but just thought I'd ask. I'm looking forward to giving them some freedom, but afraid of the goat-rope that might ensue. They don't have to be lap-chickens, but it would be nice if they didn't run screaming from me. LOL Any thoughts?