My chicks are now 11 weeks old. I opened the run gate at 10 weeks and let them go. Pardon the pun but I was like an old mother hen about it. Was just sure they wouldn't "come home" at the end of the day. But, instead, they parade home off and on all day long, and free range as far (so far) as 100 yards from the coop. They dutifully put themselves to bed at dusk, just like chickens are supposed to do. (See, why worry?) Prior to the "release", they were eating me out of house and home and I was worried I'd need to purchase more "starter" feed before switching to "laying" feed. But as soon as they'd seen the big world, my food bill plummeted. They seem to be thriving on the bugs, worms and foliage. All is well and they are growing so fast I think I can hear their little bones "squeak" like growing corn! I ordered 25 chicks, but the breeder sent an extra packing peanut. One died on the way, and I've lost 3 more since their arrival. So I'm down to 22...........but that's a good quantity for what we want. I'm sure I don't need to tell anyone, but they are a ball to watch. I'm really enjoying them and now wonder why I've not had chickens until now in my life. Just want to add a big "thank you" to all the answers to newbie questions when I first got started. Lot's of help from the forum for a first time "chicken wrangler".