We made the decision to let the chickens have free run of the entire yard this week. The grass in their small yard was dead and even moving the fence to give them fresh grass wasn't enough to keep the grass from dying back within the week. Beside, the chickens were becoming quite adept at getting out of their fenced in area, regardless of what effort I put into fixing any loose fencing.
So, we bought some metal posts and several rolls of 4 ft green, plastic fencing and fenced in the entire yard. Well not the entire yard. There is a small 6 foot strip between the house and the driveway that they can not get into, otherwise they have the entire yard to run around in all the time. They love it. And, if I get worried they have hopped the fence all I have to do is call and they all come running for their treat.
The chickens go into their coop to lay their eggs. If it is raining they will go under their coop to stay dry. They know where their feed and water is served and will go to it when they want. The only problem we have had is they love to dig in the flower beds and herb bed. Luckily I haven't planted much yet since the weather cooled off, but I will have to figure out a way to discourage them from digging up all my freshly planted seeds. Maybe a short decorative fence will work.