We purchased five chicken houses, since we wanted to make sure the chickens would have enough room to roost at night. We kept them in their houses for 4 days (with clean water and food), and then we release them. This is done to ensure they would know where their house was, and they would come back to roost every night. The hens would also lay eggs in their boxes.
Now, we are thinking of white washing the inside of the houses in the spring, and paint he outside red. We are also going to finish building the fence around the perimeter of the houses. As much as we love them going all over the place, if we have a garden they will not be kind to the garden. Once it is fall we can allow them to go through the garden and scratch.
I imagine since they have had so much freedom it is going to difficult for them to adjust to a few acres. It will also decrease the chances of foxes and coyotes snatching some when they feel like having a free meal from our farm.