I put our spring chicks with our existing flock this past Tuesday. 10 8/9 week old chickens (8 pullets and 2 cockerels). The existing flock consist of 8 hens (one of which is currently broody w/ eggs). The existing flock lost their rooster about 2 weeks ago to a predator.
They have been together 3 days and the new pullets/cockerels are still getting picked on by the older girls. There are 3 or 4 of the older hens that are especially rough - the others don't seem to mind the chicks. The older girls won't let them get to the food or water - the little ones end up hanging out under the house all day and only come out to eat when we free range the older ones. The new chicks are roosting with the older girls inside the house and have been since day one - so thats a good sign.
How long does it take for them to hammer out pecking order and accept the new chicks into the flock --> that is, to the point where the new chicks can come out in the run without getting pecked and can get to one of the feeders/waterers?