Originally I posted this in another section but must not have been the right one since I didn't get any responses so hopefully someone here will have advice - thanks! I have my 20-26 week old hens in a large coop using the deep litter method. In early November I will be taking my younger chicks out if the brooder and putting them into the partitioned grow out area under the nesting boxes with an enclosed run. I will put fresh pine shavings in with them - and probably their own deep litter from their brooder. The two areas are divided only by framing and chicken wire so bedding (and obviously air) will mix. I am feeding the chicks medicated feed for coccidiosis. The older birds have never shown any symptom of illness or infestation. Btw, I also use DE in the coop on and under the roost if that matters. I was thinking I should slowly introduce the "big girl germs" to my chicks by adding bits if their litter/pine shavings from floor to their brooder...? Is that good or bad? I'm afraid of shocking them in November after having them in the brooder in my house. I really don't want to remove the deep litter and start over in November with it already below freezing here at night. Am I being overly cautious? I've searched for the answer and have found lots of help with the social integration but none regarding the existing litter.