Ok, so this is my first post and its probably a question that has been asked time and time again. I am currently expanding my farm. We board horses and row crop and have been for years now. For about 3 decades the farm was being maintained at minimal level and over the past 6 years I and my retied father have been farming full-time and rebuilding the place. We are getting to the point where we are ready to expand. We have folks to manage the horses, so other than maintenance, we will be running a bit slower in 2008. So, we are planning new things. Dad's not much for the internet so I am doing a lot of research on my own and reading. I have been designing a commercial, organic, produce garden and vineyard/apiary and was wondering about how we would go about introducing chickens to the mix. We are looking specifically for egg producers. The big question I have is... Will free ranging (1/2 acre here, maybe a bit larger) chickens lay freely or in boxes if you provide the space? Ideally I'd like to give them as much free space as they can handle, but if they are not going to lay in boxes, then I'll need to figure something else out. I hope that question makes sense. I am knew to chickens, though I spent a great deal of my younger days around them, I never learned anything about their care and behaviors. I am changing that though, and while I know I will find this answer out, probably as a consume more material I need to know this one thing before I can continue on other non-chicken/hen related things. Any insight would be VERY much appreciated.