They roam the yard freely all day and after nap/quiet time, he feeds them again and puts them back in their cage. They eat bugs and fertilize the yard. :) Right now all of our chickens are hens so they don't bother the kids when they play. It's kind of like having a dog that doesn't like any attention. We really enjoy having the chickens and the fresh eggs they lay. They are more regular layers when they get out during the day.
Most of our 13 chickens are more than willing to return "home" with little effort. However, there seems to be about 3 that never want to go back in the cage.
They can get in the horse pen much easier than their jailers, so often a chase ensues.
We have determined that most days it's much quicker to let Ty put them up by himself.