I took a leap of faith this weekend and finally let my hens outside for some free ranging time in the paddock with the cows! I had to physically carry the first four out Saturday morning, and no one else ventured outside after that, but those first four stayed out several hours before putting themselves away. Yesterday morning I went out and opened the coop and barn doors, and those four burst out of the coop like they were on fire, and were outside in a matter of minutes. Some others scratched around the hay on the barn floor for awhile, but when I looked a few hours later, eight of my eleven hens were outside! I've been afraid to let them out this whole time, but now I'm more confident. They didn't go far at all (never left the paddock, and in fact probably stayed within 10 feet of the barn at all times), the cows didn't bother them, and when they sensed danger (I came walking in too fast) they bolted through the barn door in a fast single file line. I won't be letting them free range when I'm not home - yet (I leave for work in the dark and arrive home just before dark) - but weekends will be their free time. Yay for happy, free ranging chickens!