Our chickens are pasture-raised, but they need to be confined when they are small. We have three pairs of hawks on the farm, and they love snacking on chicks; they are just the right size for elevenses or any other meal for that matter. During their first ten weeks our girls are kept in their brooder house. Then, we make a small confined fence around the house so that they can have a taste of freedom, but the hawks cannot swoop down and carry them away. The chicks seem to know that they are destined for a life of freedom on the farm. By nine or ten weeks, they are banging on the door letting us know they need to get out. As the hens get bigger, the hawks become less of a problem.