Ever since I decided to get chickens, I wanted to make sure that their housing was as humanely built as possible. I’ve read many times that a humane amount of space for enclosed/cooped up chickens is 10 sq ft per chicken. We started out with about 10-11, but now have about 12-14 sq ft per chicken.
I could certainly let my chickens roam free if 1) we had a fenced in yard or 2) my chickens didn’t dig up my landscaping like Jack Russells. Seriously, don’t underestimate how much most chickens like to dig! It gets messy quickly. To avoid this, but give the chickens access to fresh grass and new areas, I have some portable fencing. You can find it a lot of places: Amazon, Menards or Tractor Supply. I purchased mine at Premier 1 Supplies. It only takes me about 5 minutes to put it up and same amount to take it back down. My family thinks I’m crazy for going through the hassle, but the chickens LOVE it!