Originally Posted by Ridgerunner
You have a lot of issues there but your breeds should be fine. Don’t worry about having different breeds. A lot of us do that. Those breeds sound fine to me. You can find horror stories about any breed, each chicken is an individual and has its own personality, but the odds of them getting along great are really good.
Mixing breeds from a sale like that I’d often suggest a quarantine but with all those chickens coming from different sources, with you not having a flock at home, and them all going through the same sale and probably already exposed to anything there I don’t think it’s worth even considering for you. Don’t over-stress about it. Most chickens brought home from sales are fine anyway. Just check them for mites and lice.
Try to get them all about the same age. Don’t get anal over this, be reasonable, but a more mature chicken will be dominant over a less mature chicken. Size really doesn’t have much to do with it, maturity does. The closer in age they are the sooner they will become one flock.
I don’t know what your facilities look like or how big they are. When you put six strange chickens together to form a new flock, they will sort out pecking order and flock dominance. Sometimes that goes so smoothly you wonder what all the worry was about, sometimes it gets really messy. Most of the suggestions on this forum involve adding a group of chickens to an existing flock. You don’t have that. Not only do you have a group of pullets that have not settled dominance issues, they do not think of your coop as home. If you just turn them loose they may go for a hike and not return.
The bigger your facilities the better. By facilities I mean all space available to them, probably coop plus run. Hopefully you have both and they are decent size. Normally you want to lock the new chickens in the coop for a few days so they get used to it as home. I’m going to suggest differently. When you get them home, immediately let them loose in your coop plus run. Give them the maximum space you can without them running away. Put out a few feeding and watering stations in the coop and in the run so they can eat and drink without challenging each other. Watch them to see if there are any injuries and especially blood drawn. As long as you don’t see blood, let them fight if they choose. There will likely be a few skirmishes but the fights should not last that long before one decides to run away. That’s where the room comes in, they need enough room to run away and get away, even with some chasing. That’s how chickens usually do it, if there is conflict the weaker runs away from the stronger and avoids them. I know I’m repeating myself but they need all the room they can get.
The first night who knows where they will try to put themselves to bed. After it is dark, put them all in the coop. Some people may suggest putting them on the roosts but I don’t worry about that, the coop floor works fine. They will figure it out. Keep that coop as dark as you can. Do not put any lights in there. You may need to cover a window if you have security lights or something like that.
The next morning be out there before they wake up at sunrise and open the pop door. Give them a chance to run away if there is a conflict.
Keep doing this until they are putting themselves to bed in the coop on their own and you are comfortable there will not be a disaster if you are late letting them out in the morning. With all pullets or even with just one male in the flock this should not take that long, especially if they are fairly close together in age. If there is a big age difference this process may go on a bit longer. When I integrate, my younger birds are usually on the roosts in the morning when I go down there to let them out. They are avoiding the older birds. Chickens have been working this kind of stuff out for thousands of years. You are throwing in a twist, mixing six strangers, but the basics are the same. They are individuals, you may have rotten luck and just get a brute, but as long as you don’t have tiny facilities I don’t expect you to have any serious issues.