Goldens can be free ranged. I've done it, they kind of walk over a larger area than the chickens do, and easily jump fences(fences really are not a barrier to them, more like a high skip and they are on the other side in an instant..) but they always showed up at feeding time, some roosted in trees in my yard, never found out where others roosted..
Edited by Kev - 2/24/08 at 12:55am
I quit trying that though as the hawks would always hit the hens and juvenile males(before they got the color) REAL bad when they were migrating through or staying for winter. Those same hawks did not touch chickens or the adult golden roosters, just rapid fired on the golden hens and juvenile males only. My guess they resemble their natural or familiar prey from other areas they hunt in.
They also were very tame, which was a good thing as many (chicken)hens or roosters liked to give them a real hard time at feeding time so I was forced to feed them on top of things and stand guard so they could at least get some feed.
Was quite awesome to see the golden roosters show behavior I don't ever get to see them do in a pen(and my pens for the breeders were 10' x 60'..) such as the males bowing their head to the ground, beak mere millimeters from the ground then raising their body and tail almost straight up and running directly at a hen 20 feet or more from him. That looks so odd. Also all of them act much like monkeys when in trees- running around and scrambling easily even on the thin branches. I miss them.
Anyways, my vote is "probably not" due to hawks, even if they never bother your chickens. And then you probably will need to make some kind of accommodation so the goldens would have access to feed if the hens like to chase them off at feeding time.
Kept in covered pens, they are extremely easy to care for.. especially if not made to live with other species in the same enclosure.
By the way, on second reading, you asked about friendliness.. yes they can become extremely friendly. Both the parent raiseds and brooder raised birds easily became tame enough to take feed from hands, if you are patient or calm, it is easy to get them used to you enough to jump up on your lap or arm with a treat or food in your hands- several of the hens "taught" themselves to fly onto my shoulder or arms for food or treats. The adult males usually are too busy posturing at anything close by so the most they did usually was take a few bites and then go back to contorting their bodies at something..