I love my hens, and it's been a blast having them in my backyard. We kept them in the coop (with a run) for a few months, mostly because I was afraid of what my dogs would do, and what my many neighbor dogs would do. Unfortunately, one morning, I let my dogs out, started coffee, and then got my shoes on to let the chickens out into the run. What do I see in my backyard? Red-Star (I call the chickens their breed... it works for us) is standing on one of my dogs as she lies there. So, apparently, my dogs don't care. After talking with my neighbors to ensure their dogs haven't been able to jump the fence so far, I decided to let them be "free-range".
They are so happy! It's been great! The best part? When I come outside and make my imitation chicken noises, they come sprinting. Does anybody else get this? My chickens aren't exactly socialized, so this is a huge step for us, that they willingly run towards me. Red-star and Austrolorpe will even eat out of my hands now. I know this forum tends to have negative chicken behaviors, so I thought I'd share my positive one!