When we had bantams in Melbourne they free-ranged over our backyard all day long. They only lived in their 'house' at night.
However, here in Adelaide we don't have side gates, so we have to keep our new chooks, Temple and Caramel, in their pen during the day. They only free range in the afternoons when someone can be outside to keep an eye on them and keep them out of mischief.
Full size hens make much more of a mess than little bantams, so for the garden's sake it's probably a good idea to keep Temple and Caramel locked up most of the time.
It does feel strange though, to have graduated from babysitting children to babysitting feather-babies.
And no, I'm not feeling at all clucky.