I have purchased a tiny farm (I close in mid-July) and the thirteen chickens (eight Rhode Island Reds and five bantams) convey. I am delighted, but need some information. So I bought two books about chickens (Keep Chickens by B. Kilarski and Living with Chickens by J. Rossier) but still have some questions. I'm not completely unfamiliar with "big birds" since I grew up with my grandparent's chickens, and have successfully raised guinea and peafowl in the past. Also understand I have only been to the farm for a few minutes to observe. Any help on these items would be greatly appreciated. 1. These chickens have never been out of the hen house/ small wired coop area. The hen house is great, well built and with some renovation work I'll be happy with it. The wired in coop is very small. I would really like to let the chickens out during the day to forage around the barn, outbuildings and pastures. We are well away from a road. I understand about predators, but I will be with them a lot and I have a huge dog. I just think they would be healthier and happier. That said, how do I get them back in the chicken house in the late afternoon? Do they just walk in? My guineas preferred roosting in a specific tree (even though they had a coop), my peafowl just roosted on the roof of my house. 2. The other reason I'd like to let them free during the day is I am inheriting two roosters with the flock. One is the alpha guy and the other poor guy spends most of his life high up on a perch in the hen house. I thought maybe more room would make everyone happier, more space, less boredom. I also noticed a few of the hens had lost feathers on their rumps, which I didn't have time to see if it was from picking, insects, breeding or what. I don't think I saw any blood. Does any of this make sense? I'd like a calm happy flock and want to try to work/modify their enviroment before doing something drastic like getting rid of the rooster. And to be honest, I'd like the chickens around to enjoy. Right now I feel like they are all cellmates. 3. Feed - now they get laying pellets, grass clippings and water. I plan on adding grit, oyster shells, scratch feed and good stuff from my house. The owners say they are aound 3 years old. Any help you can give me would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance, Mac Sorry if this is posted in the incorrect place.