We are getting ready to start a small flock. I would like to do some limited free ranging in our backyard for the birds' health and enjoyment and to help keep insects under control. We live in a rural area with just about every predator you can think of. I would only let the birds out while supervised, but I still want to pick breeds with traits that would give them the best chance against daytime predators like hawks. It seems like more alert breeds with "wild" traits would do the best, but since they will primarily be pets (who hopefully lay lots of eggs), I would like to find friendly breeds as well. We have a toddler who won't necessarily be handling the birds, but who I would like to include in caring for the chickens. I'm even wondering if tamer breeds might be better in the sense that they could be more easily trained to stay in the yard and come back to the coop when needed. ?? My grandmother had a huge flock of semi-wild chickens that roosted in trees. They fended for themselves rather well, but that would never work for us. The birds will need to be in Fort Knox lock down at night to survive out here in the forest. My other related question is about roosters. It would obviously be a good idea to have a rooster to protect the flock, but I'm worried about the possibility of aggression with a little one around. Are there any rooster breeds that are friendlier than others? What about a bantam rooster with a flock of standard-sized hens? Might be less intimidating. I remember steering clear of roosters when I was a kid, but I would like my child to be able to go into the run/coop with me without fear. Any guidance would be most appreciated!