My chicks are almost grown and tonight I think I am going to introduce them into the flock. They are still a little smaller than my adult hens but not by much. And they feisty. Very feisty.
The other day I arranged the outdoor run for the hens against the smaller run I made for the new girls so they could see each other up close and personal. There was some interest from both parties but overall they each pretending the other group was not there and went out eating bugs.
I still have no idea what breed of chickens my new girls are. For now I call them "Tractor Supply Mix". I have two that are mostly white - one has some black spots on her lower neck and the other has light brown feathers that slowly turn lighter down her neck and the rest of her body is all white. I have two that are a darker brown - one with white sections and the other with a white 'fin' tail. The last two are 'in-the-middle' brown with white sprinkled throughout.
Tonight is the night. I am going move the girls from the tractor to the separate enclosed area inside of the main coop before it gets dark. Then right before I go to bed I will open the enclosure door and leave it open. My hope is that they will integrate into the flock and all will be well. This is the same approach I used last year and I did not have any incidents, however, last year I waited until the end of July. I may rethink my decision and postpone to next weekend.
In related chicken news, I have brought back the portable grass run. A couple months ago the fox took some of my chickens by gaining entry through the portable fencing - in broad daylight! I feel I have waiting the sufficient amount of time for the fox to lose interest and move on to better hunting grounds and I reinstalled the portable fence so the flock can get to fresh grass. This time, I made it a smaller area and added a light netting top. I have been vigilant about fence and netting inspection and in the daily counting of chickens.