Tomorrow I'm getting a Buff Cochin Bantam hen. I have 7 other hens. Can she he housed with them? They free range all day, in my fenced in back yard. Only locked up at night for safety.
Can the bantam free range too? I'm so excited about getting her!
When they are raised together, bantams can generally hold their own in a flock with larger birds. In this situation being a small bird introducing to an established flock of 7 larger hens she will most likely be abused quite severely. You can try an integration after she has been quarantined, but monitor it closely for her safety.
X2 on sourland's post. I wouldn't personally recommend introducing your bantam to the flock of standard breeds as it she is liable to take a beating from the larger birds. For this reason we had to remove our Silkies from the main flock and keep them in their own separate enclosure. How bad the situation is may depend on what type of standard breeds you have. In my personal experience, RIRs in particular can be tough on bantams, but some of the calmer and more gentle standard breeds such as Orpingtons, Faverolles, Cochins, and Brahmas may do okay with them.
I don't currently have any bantams, but when I've had them, they've never free ranged (I've free ranged some of the large fowl breeds in the past), and yes, bantams can definitely fly (with the exception of pure Silkie bantams).