We just moved from a little lot in the city (along with our 4 hens and 2 dogs) to a beautiful 7 acre ranch in the mountains. Our chooks have always been confined to a run/coop, and while it was rather spacious, they have never been allowed to "free range". Now that we have built their new run/coop up here (20'x10' run for 4 birds, lol...) I am interested in letting them free range during the day. They are only 8 months old, but I'm worried that if i let them out of their run, they will take off for good. I would appreciate any advice you have on how to do this "right". Next spring, I plan on getting another half dozen hens and a couple roos (for protection). Mind you, red tailed hawks, golden eagles, racoons, and opossums have all be spotted on our property. And coyotes/bears/cougars are around as well. Would I be foolish to free range them? I feel like I'm a mean mom closing them in when there are plenty of bugs and goodies to forage through on the hill. Help??