Hi -- We have 12 chicks inside in a brooder, which they're quickly outgrowing. The first 6 are about 7 weeks old, then the other 6 are between 3-4 weeks old. My question is, how do I free range them without leaving them prone to hawks? I keep reading on here about how people let their birds free range, and I'd really like to, but now I'm scared since we lost one girl. We built them a moveable 8 x 8 pen that has that plastic corrugated roofing on top, and hardware cloth on the sides, so if I use that and move it to a new spot every day, does that count nutritionally as if they were free ranging? And for those of you that do free range, do you just not have hawks in your area? This past week, my 3 year old daughter got up early and fiddled with the grate that keeps the girls in the brooder in our laundry room. A while later, I heard loud peeping from downstairs, and went to investigate. Rounding the corner from the stairs into the kitchen, I saw the baby chicks scurrying about underneath the kitchen table. The floor was littered with little blobs of chicken poop. Laughing at this unexpected sight, I escorted the babies back to the laundry room brooder. Discovering that it was empty, I went in search of the older girls. I found them hanging out in the middle of the living room rug, tho they must have just arrived in this room since it was poop-free. I opened the door to the deck and helped the girls figure out that this was the way I wanted them to go. We all walked down the deck stairs and they all were happy to be back on familiar territory. I headed back inside to clean up. Once I finished, I went back outside to find the big girls because I couldn't see them. They were back behind a big evergreen, sitting on the stone wall. Missing one of their number. It seems that in the 10 minutes that I was wiping up the mess inside, a hawk swooped down and breakfasted on our smaller silkie. I was so upset! We worked to finish the moveable pen that is relatively predator safe. Sigh.