Have you restlessly argued to yourself about whats best for your hens? Many people love having chickens ( I know I do ), but many people also live in the city. Most city hens have a small backyard, or a patch of lawn to keep themselves busy. Others may have a larger or smaller property.There are various ways to raising chickens, but in a restricted area can be dificult.What is the main thing you want for your chickens? For them to be happy, healthy, or safe? Free ranging chickens in the city can be dangerous, as there are many predators: traffic, roaming cats or dogs, and birds of prey. Your chickens are safer in coops when it comes to city life.That doesn't mean you can't let them out for a few hours everyday,and put back in at night. Having your home boundries fenced can be a good idea if your chickens are constantly let out. Or, building a small " erena" type of enclosure with a coop and nesting boxes is perfecly fine too.
But, when you are a sort of country living person, there are many good things about free ranging. Your chickens can easily roam the land without having the risk of being killed. Of course there are other predators like foxes, wolves ( depending on where you live ) and hawks that may eat your hens. I live on a farmland property, and my hens free-range during the day. After 6pm I lock them back up in their coop, and let them out the next morning. It's best for your chickens to have a regular feeding and free-ranging routine everyday. Feeding them then letting them out is their moring routine, and the locking them at 6pm and feeding them is their afternoon routine. It's quite simple. But I can't say I haven't lost a hen or two during the last 2 years... A happy chicken is a healthy chicken, and a healthy chicken is a safe chicken, right? But not always. You chickens are still in danger. Whether they're in a coop or not. There are parasites, mites, and diseases that can harm your hens. Free-ranging hens have the chance to scrub themselves off in the dirt, and rid themselves of mites. Have you ever heard of clostrophobic hens? This can happen to battery hens, which are caged up all day and night. Clostrophoby can be stopped by changing the hens living conditions, like small cages. Think how happy a battery hen must be when they're let out! So my point is, depending on your living style, free-ranging & chicken runs can both be useful and appretiated by your chickens.