Last week I heard another story of someone in my area who thought it so romantic to let his chickens out of the henhouse to strut at random in the open backyard. THey started with 7 chickens and now are down to 2 due to predation by cats, one black cat in particular. From all appearances it seems that it is only a matter of time before the remaining two chickens, wonderful bantams, are picked off as well. They are making no efforts to enclose the chickens, perhaps hoping that thinking bad thoughts about the cat will keep it away. For God's sake if you love your chickens do something to protect them. It saddens me to see those pretty bantams and to think of what lies in store for them because their owners prefer the romantic image of chickens roaming free in a yard to the point where they can't seem to take in the reality of local predators plucking them off with the greatest of ease. My chickens are very happy in a run that is totally wire-enclosed, sides and ceiling, which is an attractive space that is kept clean and in good order. I can sit and observe them with much contentment. I don't have to put their lives in jeopardy to fulfill a pretty romantic fantasy.