Right now we have a hen house (5x6) attached to a (soon to be covered) pen (7x20) and i would like to leave the door open so that the flock has access to the outdoors as soon as the sun comes up and get to stay out until the sun goes down. Right now i don't always get out there early in the morning and sometimes close them in early if i am going to be out long after dark. Since the roof isn't on i want to avoid predator attacks at night. We are putting the roof on this weekend (chickenwire) and i was hoping to be able to let them have free access. I am a first time chicken caretaker. So, i was wondering what the rest of you do. How many of you let your flock have free access to an outdoor pen? Is the pen covered? Predator problems? weather problems?