I let my 24 girls free range today for the first time. Their run is huge, but I knew they'd love it in the tall grass (the lawnmower wouldn't start). I also wanted them to eat some of the many mosquitoes we have here. I am so paranoid that I sat outside with them for an hour and then bribed them back in the pen when the lawnmower repair man came. I'm thinking that I'll let them free-range at about 7:30 pm because it gets dark here at 8:30, but at dusk I'll be even more paranoid about predators. Also, I'm unsure what they would do regarding the neighbors's yards and the road. We are on 2 acres and very secluded and far off the road, but still. Am I too overprotective? While I sat in the grass with them, they came up to me and let me pet them. They come when I call. I want it all: happy, LIVE chickens.