My chickens free range daily, all day, every day. No way in hell am I gonna babysit them all day. Not even gonna babysit them for 1 hour. I have lots of guns and live in a semi rural area surrounded by woods. I've got better things to do than babysit chickens.
No judgement at all. A 10/22 does everything an AR-22 does with less convergence, and in this climate your neighbors are less likely to think you're the "crazy" guy. I mean go for it if you aren't breaking the law, there are just a whole lot of idiots just waiting to call the cops. It's get's straightened out, but you don't want an officer jacked up, because Lord knows what he heard by the time it goes through dispatch, and there you are with your AR moseying along unaware. It ain't right, but something to consider.
I don't think you're crazy at all. I actually hired a high school boy to come and shoot squirrels. He loves to eat them, I don't like the way they eat all the fruit off my trees. Win Win. (I shouldn't say I hired him, I fed him and he's a great house sitter for when I'm gone. Now he's grown up with kids of his own. Good ol country boy.
I Plan to not do free ranging in the future. I have lost too many to predation.
Well the exception to that will be my guinea fowl... I am a passive protector of the flock. Unless you consider my yard free ranging. I have a livestock fence around the yard which when i get started again Will have chicken proofing around the bottom. and Hot wire around the top. The yard is about an acre and includes my house.
That area will be additionally protected by the dog crew. There will be a 24 x100 aviary net protected area for the days I cant get out...
And Yep i have more acreage... a total of eighteen acres unfenced which i hope to change once I can move back.k
I have a shotgun for protection but its mostly for the two legged predators....