Some time in November I removed the fence around the chickens in preparation for the snow which damages it. Chickens never go far in the snow and they knew where home was so I felt ok letting them roam around. They enjoyed their liberty enormously and did very well coming back at dusk. Problem is they also started laying; not all picked the coop as their laying spot.
So unfortunately for them, and in the absence of snow, the fence is back and much tighter so they correct this behavior.