We have been raising chickens here for 6 years, and they have always been free range. We have had as many as 16 chicken roaming around, but now they are all gone. I'm tired of losing chickens to predators. Losing a chicken is no fun. Back in May, a raccoon killed every chicken in the hen house. Over the last few months, the two surviving chickens roosting in trees got caught on the ground. Obviously, we miss them, but we haven't gotten any more chicks. We need to do a better job of caring for them. I don't want the birds free-ranging if no one is around. We need a coop that is big enough to let us go inside and get everyone to come in for food, so they can all then be locked in. But, I don't want a hen house that is just a killing zone when the raccoon or possum gets in. .