The idea of true free range chickens is great, but in reality it's dangerous. To balance freedom and safety, we use a modified free range system which we describe in detail, along with tips on fencing, layout and location of chicken yard, providing cover, choosing appropriate chicken breeds, etc., so that you can develop your own limited free range system.
The eggs roll down and into egg basket area. Mostly fresh air coop design. Chickens free range into large orchard. Nest boxes designed for eggs to roll forward, the screen shows which boxes have the eggs. It prevents egg eating and keeps them cleaner. Easy to clean nest box - simple pull it out rinse it off. They seem to really like the astroturf.
Save money on chicken feed, reduce dependence on industrial monocultures, make your chickens happier and their eggs healthier. Give them access to good habitat, let help in the compost, feed them from the vegetable garden, grow fodder, and raise grubs are just some of the possibilities discussed here. In short, think of chickens as part of a permaculture design.
A free-range flock is at higher risk of predation than confined birds. Providing natural and artificial cover in the form of bushes, boxes, branches will provide a degree of security and safe-haven when predators are detected.