A couple of nights ago I slipped 8 day-old chicks under my broody who had been sitting for two weeks. I divided the coop allowing for 12-15' sq for the new brood. The chicks have been out and about in the afternoons, and the broody seems unflustered (if a bit bemused)--all appears to be well. My inclination is to dismantle the barrier I created and to allow the chicks and the flock at large to mingle, this is how I remember it was done when I was a kid, though I had no role in the actual management of the birds. I have bought organic chick starter in bulk to feed universally along with crushed oyster shells to be made available for the layers. The main thing I am concerned about is will the tiny chicks be able to navigate their way back into the coop if they get out during the next two weeks, or so? The door to the coop is raised off the ground by about 18 inches (the coop itself is about 12 ins off the ground), with a ramp, etc. After a couple of weeks I thought I'd make a shelter with slats on the side so that the chicks can get through but the adults can't, to afford them some shelter in case of bullying, though this protection would not be in effect at night/early morning. They have a big pen enclosed by electric poultry netting which I normally open up once I let them out of the coop in the morning so the birds roam freely over the (large) yard. I'm interested in hearing from people who've had success with this approach. Modifications, pitfalls, etc., gratefully heard too.