Good morning! We currently have 11 hens and a roo. The chickens are (I think) approximately 13-14 weeks, though maybe I should post pics so you guys can confirm . Anyway, we have about 16,000 sq. ft of space in the backyard that is fenced inside a 6 ft. high chain link fence. I really want to allow the birds free range from time to time but to be honest, I'm so nervous about them not going back into the coop/run at night. They have now been outside in their coop/run for about 2 months. The first night, I had to shoo them into the coop and put them up on their roost. Night two, I went out to do it again and they had already gone in and put themselves to bed. Thus far, this has happened every single night. But, is the same thing going to happen if I let them out into the yard? We have a lot of trees, and we have raccoons at night that come over the fence and into our yard so the thought of any of them roosting in a tree really scares me. I know, I'm probably more freakish than I should be, but I adore these ladies (and gent) and am so careful with them. I had chickens 20 years ago when I was much younger and to be honest, I didn't lock them in their coop or anything at night and never gave it a second thought. Now, I'm a nervous wreck and set a timer on my phone to make sure I close things up right at dark LOL. We are releasing three (wild) mallard ducks next Friday, that came to us when they were orphaned back in May. Until then, I can't just leave the run door open but once they are released, I would really like to try free ranging for a bit late afternoons until dark. Any tips and tricks you can offer would be great! Thanks so much!!