Need some suggestions on how to handle young neighborhood kids... This morning, it was raining outside. Normally, I open the pop door on the coop and let the chickens out into the run fairly early in the morning. But, since it was raining, I was taking my time today knowing the birds have both food and water in the coop. Well, the rain slowed down to a light sprinkling, so I headed out to the garage to get some fresh feed for my 10 ten-week-old pullets. As I turned the corner of the garage, feed bucket in hand, I saw two young neighborhood boys not only in the chicken run, but trying to open the sliding pop door! OK, not good, but try not to panic. I live on a lake and in the summer we get lots of visiting people for a short period of time. These boys are only here for a few weeks, they are about 12 years old, and they came bearing a sack of lettuce to feed to the chickens. Since the chickens were still in the coop, they were trying to figure out how to open the pop door to feed the lettuce to the birds. So, truly, their hearts were in the right place. But we all know about unintended consequences.... My chicken run has a dog kennel gate panel and I use that gate to get in/out of the chicken run. The gate latch has a secure locking feature to put on a padlock, or in my case, I just use a carabiner. That locks the gate latch for most predators, but certainly not humans. Likewise, I use a carabiner on the chicken coop access door gate latch. Again, easy for humans to bypass. The kids were not able to get the sliding pop door open. So I guess that my design was tested under fire in real life. When I made the sliding pop door, I added extra weight to the door inside the coop and the bottom of the sliding door extends down into the framing so you cannot get your fingers under, over, or around the door. The door itself is smooth and slippery, so you can't get any leverage on it to pull it up - I tried with my bare hands and I could not do it. Fortunately, neither could these kids. So, trying to be very calm and understanding, I wished the boys "Good morning" and asked them if they had come to visit the chickens. They said they had some nice lettuce to feed the chickens but they could not get the door open to feed the birds. So I told them that I was also feeding the birds, and that I had to open the small pop door from inside the coop. So they came out of the chicken run and actually not only shut the gate behind them, but also put the carabiner back on for me. That was good. I opened the pop door and the birds came out. They started throwing lettuce into the run and the chicks got scared and ran right back into the coop! I explained to the kids that these chicks are not used to having people around as I have been the only one to feed and care for them since they were day-old chicks. But I thanked them for the lettuce and thinking of the birds. I told them that they would be back out later and would eat the lettuce then. They seemed to be OK with that and after a short while they left and went back home. Afterwards, I was thinking about what I should have/could have said.... For example, even though I was thanking them for thinking of the birds and bringing some nice lettuce for them, I should have also told them that if the chickens are not outside, that I might not be at home and don't want the chickens outside in the run. I should have told them that only I should open the pop door and that others should not try to get into the coop. I just did not think of it at the time. I don't want to be the grumpy old man yelling at the neighborhood kids to get off my lawn, but I am concerned that a gate would be left open, the chickens get out, and then killed by a dog, eagle, hawk, etc... So I am thinking about putting padlocks on the coop and gate, at least during the summer when the visiting neighbors arrive. These kids will only be here a few weeks, and I really want to encourage them to enjoy my chickens and feel free to visit. My wife and I never had any children, so I am not quite sure on how to best both encourage these children while at the same time stressing to them that there are boundaries which should not be crossed - like going into the chicken run and trying to open the pop door! Well, if you have read this post thus far, you are probably the type of person who could offer me some suggestions on how to better handle these type of situations with the neighborhood kids. So I open it up to you for some thoughts. Thanks in advance.