My grandmother in southern Kentucky had a hen house. Its door was always open, never closed. Her hens went in and around the barn too, some roosting on the high rafters above the hay in the loft. Most laid their eggs in the hen house nests. Some laid in the hay of the hay loft. Nobody closed them in or did anything else. I never heard of anything ever happening to any of her hens, predator wise. Broody hens would often hide from her and show up with a dozen or more chicks. She didn't have any wire of any kind anywhere for chickens; they could go anywhere on the farm that they wanted to go. It wasn't only my grandmother; all her neighbors did the same. Why can't we live like that with our chickens? Surely there were the same predators then as what we have today.