We are about to get three new Wyandottes and move them into the coop we just built. The coop itself is about 3x4, and our run is 8x8. Now the run is pen made of 1x1s, with two panels that serves as lids essentially. The whole thing is covered in standard chicken wire which is stapled into the 1x1s and buried several inches in the dirt, angled outward, and weighted with rocks. So my question directly relates to my title. Would it be cruel to keep the birds in the coop when we aren't home? And do you think an enclosure of chicken wire is strong enough to keep out a dog? I live in New England so I believe the biggest threat to us is neighborhood dogs during the day, and at night the chickens will be in the coop. The coop has windows which are covered in galvanized hardware cloth with about a thousand staples in each piece. I guess this could also go in the pest section but my real question is, how often should they be let out? For a few hours everyday, and most of the day on the weekend? Or all day every day and just take our chances? I mean I know which one sounds better, but I am still very new at this and would also like advice from people who have had to worry about these things.