So I started with 3 RIR pullets I got from a well known chicken farmer nearby. I wanted more, but at the time he only had RIR's and I definitely wanted some diversity in my flock. All other chicken farmers who had pullets were an hour and a half away. So I was going to resort to TS for some chicks and just brood them until they were big enough to go in the outside coop with the other girls. I was lucky enough to find some barnyard mixes that were about 6 weeks old up the street from me. I ended up with 4 of them, of which I had to 'sex' them myself, in the dark. lol So I'm pretty confident at least 3 of them are girls, but one may be a roo.
My RIR's should be laying in a few weeks. Someone told me his RIR's started laying at 20weeks. So I'm hoping mine will also. Because my RIR's are 18weeks now! Their names are Ursula(pecking order Princess), Lagertha(second in command), and Meg(from Family Guy).
My barnyard mixes, also known as the Littles, are named Butters(lightest in color, almost butterscotch), Xena-the Warrior Princess(tan, black and golden brown with black eyeliner), Rasputia(tan, black and golden brown with the shortest neck) and Bellatrix(mostly black in color, who might be the roo) The littles are now 8 weeks.
I used the playpen method for a week before the formal introductions began. When I did finally introduce them there was about 30mins of chasing and pecking. I'm glad I got more littles than my RIR's though. None of them got seriously picked on. For the rest of the day there was on again, off again occasional chasing and pecking. But by the end of the day everyone was calm. They slept in the same coop that night no problems. It really only took a day for everyone to understand the ranks within the flock. Everyone gets along great now, even sunbathing together, bigs and littles.
I've used this site too many times to count when it came to questions about my chicky girls. So I figure this is the best way to have my questions or concerns answered. Instead of just searching for similar questions.