Hi All, Until last fall, all my hens and roosters were allowed to free range. I just opened the barn in the morning and closed it at night. Generally, I had no problems and everything was fine. After I lost several of my hens, I began keeping them in an enclosure and only allowed the roosters to free range. I'm not sure why the hens died, there was no apparent reason and I thought it was either from heat or something. Since I only had/have three laying hens left, I've begun taking extra precautions for them. They have a separate space in the barn with a small door which allows them to go out into an 8 x 8 dog kennel, which is covered with wire to keep them in and the roosters out. Since making this change, and especially after becoming a BYC member, I've spent a fair amount of money making improvements, etc. Now in addition to my three adult laying hens, I have three poults that will soon be old enough to be integrated with them, as well as three additional poults (totally untamed) which I inherited from a friend, that will also join the flock. This will make a grand total of nine hens and all that I want. I have four grown roosters, the smallest stays with the girls. The other three currently free range and I have this new little RIR (obnoxious already) that will eventually join the grown boys. I have too many roosters but don't have any plans on taking them on a long walk. I've spent more money the last three months on h/w cloth and other things to safeguard the chickens and have other things that have absolutely got to be taken care of around the house and yard. My question is this...I need to enlarge the space for the hens, as it just isn't large enough to accomodate nine hens plus one small rooster. So, what are your thoughts on me allowing the hens to free range, and keep the boys in the smaller space? As I said, I've never had a problem with predators until last fall when I lost three hens at night from the barn (which made me put up the h/w cloth all over the place). I think the hens would be much happier having a very large fenced in space to chase bugs and run away from Woodstock (the small rooster). I know the big guys will be unhappy but it would save me quite a bit of money, and frankly I'm getting tired of spending what little money is left after paying bills on them. Thanks for your opinion.