I'm far from a know it all when it comes to keeping chickens. One thing I do know is when I went to pick up feed for my flock I saw those soothing red lights and heard the chirping from the bins. I knew then I shouldn't have even went to look at them, next thing I knew there was a box of 7 fluffy day old chicks. It's a lot like a national holiday that I was unaware of for years.
Just like me, you might be persuaded by them and I at first didn't know how I would have them mix in with my flock. Asking a lot of questions on BYC is worth it weight in gold.
Basically I had an old school brooder with the lid on the top and retrofitted it with a new screened in door that no one can be pecked through but the birds can eat alongside each other and drink. So they will get used to them being there. I have also read that its better for the birds because your hand isn't coming in from above like a predator. I installed a small door that my full sized bird won't go in but the chicks can come out(when I open it) so if the big bird attacks they can run back to safety. The experts say minimum of two weeks seperated before you let them walk out of the tiny door just for safety of the chicks. I would recommend three weeks. All in all it was cheap under $20 for everything I needed. Once the birds are old enough to move to their permanent coop with the others I would watch but not step in unless there is a fight. Naturally they will establish their new pecking order. Stay outside with them and make sure. I would make a day of it with a lawn chair and watch some good ol' chicken tv.
Integration 101: Couldn't resist chicks from the farm store
So you couldn't resist the chicks at the farm store? Let's take a look at how to integrate the new flock successfully.