It has begun.... I have started the process of transitioning my second batch of chicks (6 of them) outside into the coop with the older first batch of chicks (4 of them).
First, I have been putting them outside during the daytime in their little safe run that is INSIDE the coop's run. So that the two groups get to see each other. I have been doing that for a week now.
Next, I started to go out and be with them for about an hour of free range time, where I open up the little safe run and allow the two groups to mingle. There have been pecks, but nothing more aggressive than a peck here or there.
I hope to continue to do the mixing time together for another week or two, and then depending on how that goes, I'll move on to the next step, which is then putting them into the coop for the night so that the two groups wake up together.
I essentially have little 'panic' areas for them, places where they can crawl under or inside of that the older chicks can't reach them... and they haven't had to use them yet for escape reasons, only just for frolicking and relaxing. Seems like my older chicks don't quite realize how much older they truly are and they are sort of 'chicken' towards the itty chicks. And the pecks have only been from my Barred Rock chick who I am thinking might already be top of the pecking order, or she is vying for top position right now. They'll even share the smaller chicks feeders and waterers together with no squabbling. So that is promising!
We are about to get hit with 90 degree weather during the day, and 60's at night, so I am hoping this batch will be outside sooner than the first was. My priority is on the introduction time now so that they have as peaceful of a transition as possible.