We love our chickens as pets (they all have names!) and would never want to lose any of them, though we understand this is inevitable. However, we are doing our best to keep them safe, protected, healthy, happy and ALIVE for as long as possible. We have four young kiddos who have raised these chicks from 2 days old and are very attached. They would be devastated if anything other than old age were to happen to their babies. We've already lost 1 out of the original 19 and it was pretty rough on the family. We ordered 17 pullets, received 19, one died, and one was a rooster. Weird. So now we have 7 layers as of yesterday, and are waiting on the other 10 to start. We kept the rooster. He's my personal fav! Anyways, I have reviewed some other threads about free range chickens and chicken herding, but wanted to ask my own questions. We live out in the country with about 2 acres around the house (1 acre open space, 1 acre of forest) and another 59 acres across the road. People speed down our country roads, so we don't let our chickens near them. Sometimes they test us though, which means we have to sit out there with them for hours while they free range. We don't have any fences and don't want to limit them to smaller areas. We also have plenty of birds of prey and red fox, black bear, coyotes, etc around/on the property. So far the main issue would be the bald eagles. I was out during "chicken recess" yesterday when two bald eagles flew about 10 feet off the ground maybe 50 feet from us. They were right over the road that crosses the front of our home and kept going. I yelled at them to make them aware of my presence and stood up out of my chair so they could see me. I didn't see them again, but it's a constant reminder that they're out there and are big enough to pick off our hens. I have read where hawks usually won't mess with fully grown chickens; not sure about owls, but they are normally nocturnal and our chickens are in their coop at night). Our chicks are all 6 months old now and I'll assume nearly fully grown. So this is the big question: does having chickens in a situation like this mean that either you take some losses, OR you have to sit out there with them at all times to keep them safe? I think many of the farms we have visited don't care as much as we do about chickens, so they have a higher rate of losses and don't seem to mind. I don't know anyone personally who sits with their chickens every time they are out of their coop or run. This seems insane. But we've been doing it for 6 months and so far haven't lost any chickens to predators or cars. I hope someone has some better ideas. We love our chickens and love spending time with them while they free range. But I feel as if our life has been put on pause or interrupted now that we have to assign a chicken watcher for hours daily, 24/7/365. We won't get rid of our chickens. If this is what we have to do in order to not lose chickens, we're obviously willing to do it. I'm just not sure if there are other/better options out there so we can be indoors or doing other chores instead of constantly following chickens around the yard, making sure we still have 18, and trying to get all of the speeding cars to slow down as they pass so they have time to brake in case a rogue chicken is feeling rebellious or sneaky. Thank you in advance for any help! We knew pets and farm animals would be a lot of work, but we never thought we'd be sitting out there with them every second while they free range. I don't believe that was in any of the books we were recommended. But again, I think we care for our chickens more than most who might only see them as a meat or egg source, or profit/money-makers.