Every evening when I take a head count, I am amazed that all the chicks have survived thus far. Knock on wood, because that could change at any time. Never assume everything is going to be OK: That's a lesson I've learned many times.
There was a time I wouldn't have been able to allow chickens to roam around my yard, because there were always several dogs running freely about the neighborhood. That has changed in the last couple of years. But I do think about the fox who sneaks past the house sometimes in broad daylight, and yes, the hawks soaring high above.
I believe the chief reason the brood has survived is that they spend at least 3/4 of their time beneath the shelter of the pine trees behind Cliff's shop, so they aren't visible from the air. I just went out a while ago to take this picture, and until I called to them, there wasn't a chicken in sight.
I wonder how they know there is safety in hiding? Did their mother teach them, or do they simply know it because of a code in their genetic makeup?
By the way, when I turn the adult chickens out in the afternoon, the chicks still recognize their mother and run to her. They are greeted with a firm peck on the head, but every day they will approach her again. Perhaps the hen is practicing the chicken version of tough love.