I have 2 (one orpington and one Plymouth Barred Rock) hens that are about 3 years old. I bought 2 (Americauna) chicks that are now about 8-9 weeks old. When is it a good time to put them together? I tried letting them graze outside of their runs the other day and the older ones chased and pecked at the babies so I separated them again. Now, one of the babies, I am suspecting is not a pullet, but a cockrell and that is the one that the older ones were mostly chasing. Could it be because it may be a cockrell? Other questions: I understand that I should feed chick feed until they start laying. If I put them together before they start laying, how do I feed them when the older ones are on layers feed? The two babies have grown up together. They are inseparable. However, if one is really a cockrell, I will need to get rid of it since the city will not allow me to have a rooster. So, should I find homes for them as a pair or will a separation between them will be okay? I have the babies outside in their own run. Before getting their adult feathers, I had them in the garage with the lights on them. When I put them outside, I turned on the lights when it got dark. Do they still need lights when they are outdoors even though they have grown their feathers? They don't have a coop as I am using a dog crate that is the cage type to put them in. I made a roost for them, but they seem to like it on top of the cage rather than inside. At night we have been putting them in the cage for safety (A skunk got in the run and killed one of my hens a couple of months ago. So, I am nervous about leaving my hen's coop and/or cage open at night even though we have placed 12X12 concrete blocks 11 inches into the ground all around the run and secured any kinds of holes).