Is this a good idea

Plenty of people free range them - you're probably going to have to take away their food though... they won't go anywhere if there's food sitting around.
I'm free ranging mine and although I do bring out their trough and fill it in the morning, they eat for 10 minutes and then are off foraging for the rest of the day. As sundown approaches, I bring their trough back inside and fill it. This helps bring in the stubborn ones that want to stay outside.

My birds are strong and vibrant, and I haven't had any issues what-so-ever that are "common" with this breed. I did lose one chick (of the 21 I brought home) at day 3 but the rest are in great shape at 5 weeks, 3 days old. I am SOOOOO glad I decided to free range as opposed to "cooping" them up in a tractor and if you have the outdoor space, I highly recommend free ranging.

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