The woods edge where my chickens free range is especially safe for them because of all the short seedlings from the larger trees. Hawks normally won't go after prey in places that they cannot dive down into safely. Just about any wild area has thousands of very small seedling of trees and/or shrubs with very short roots that you can pull up or dig. Planted very close together they will make a protective canopy within a matter of weeks for the chickens to scratch around under, protected. If necessary, they can be thinned out later with clippers. ETA I've planted hundreds of trees/shrubs doing the following: Put the seedlings in a bucket of water while gathering. Plant them quickly by pushing the shovel into the soil, pull back on the shovel's handle to widen the cut, and stick the seedling into the slice of soil. Use your foot to push the dirt against the roots.