Nest on ground in field lower risk. Chickens do not naturally nest in tree holes for a reason. Domestic birds doing so in part selection for laying in confining nest boxes under very protected conditions which can be less than smart when outside the protected perimter. Lights and high daytime human traffic does not afford protection at night. The free-range stuff I do to an extreme for a long time with lots of birds.
Me too. On the free range. We will just have to disagree again. I love the spot. Maybe chickens could get by with less eggs if an ancestor of the modern chicken had decided to find such a good hiding place.