The background story of our flock of ultra free range birds started with a peeping box of heritage pure breeds delivered to us 2 years ago in Summer 2011. At first, I micromanaged their lives and gave them fancy heated and ac yet plantless accommodations in a dog kennel using deep straw bedding and a small run. I learned that d'uccles and Silkies do quite well caged. But our other breeds were very restless! After raising the first batch of our birds, the next Spring I rethought things and changed it over to try full free range. When I let them all out at first I was scared they'd wander away.They didn't! But the flock was still seperated with roosters leading them to roost in seperate locations. Freeranging, I noticed the colors of their feathers and condition of their eyes and skin brightness increased dramatically. Weaning out the large and dominant roos who encouraged the flock to seperate helped them to become 1 flock with many roosters who were the friendly type who roosted together and worked together. Eventually, we had a mixed gender flock free-ranging happily on our 20 acre property all day to return to their safely enclosed coop which is shut promptly at sunset. This is a group of free birds! Their numbers have doubled now with natural hatches all summer. I feel very proud seeing them taking advantage of the bugs and plants. The ticks and spiders near our home are gone too thanks to our chickens! There have been some hawk incidents, but the chickens have a barn to run into to take cover from hawks and roosters keeping watch, so disappearances only rarely happen. The eggs' eating quality has gone to GOURMET flavored, and the flavor comes from their varied diet from having a large variety of bugs and plants to eat. The fully free range system is the best way to raise chickens, even better than tractors in my opinion, because they have a large area to find what their body needs. We grow organic sesame and watermelons that they eat alot of each summer. It's important to have breeds of chickens that enjoy foraging. It saves a ton of money in feed too. Utilizing multiple roosters in the flock is important for them to be able to safely range around. The flock has mostly hybrid offspring, on the mating preferences of the roosters, not based on humans putting them together. That has been my favorite part of raising chickens - awaiting how the one of a kind hybrids will look grown up. The next thing I will try to do is stabilize a few of these hybrids into its own breed. Hope to chat chickens with ya.