Hi there, I've been lurking for a long time but only recently need some specific advice. We have a flock of three hens and a roo and one of the hens has three six (?) week old chicks. They are big enough that they are perching now. We have a pair of five(?) week old chicks that got raised in the house because they were brought home by a spouse who did not quite get that they were significantly younger than the others (he thought we could graft them onto the hen). The plan was, we were going to put them in the lower part of the chicken house two days where the others could see them, and they would have a heat lamp at night, and then when they were old enough incorporate them into the flock. However, the first night in, a skunk got in and ate one. We thought our coop was bulletproof, with buried wire and all, but of course the skunk found the single chink. Interestingly, the mama hen worked her way through the wire during the ruckus, jumped down with the strange chicks, and was defending them from the skunk when we arrived. She had shown a great deal of interest in them, treating them as if she was supposed to be with them and getting very upset when she couldn't reach them during the day. I wasn't sure if she would get to them and then decide they weren't hers and hurt them, but now I'm wondering if I could actually integrate them with her. I don't know if they are developed enough to jump up on the perch at night and not freeze (to be honest I've lost track of their exact age, but they're feathered and jumping up on high things), but I'm pretty sure they are interested in being with the other chickens. They're in a cage in the run now and spend all their time trying to ge through the wire. We haven't had many nights to test the skunk safety of the coop, so I'm keeping them safe in a cage for now and moving them in and out for day and night. What do you think? I'm getting a little overwhelmed at all the fiddle! I just want to put them in the chicken house (where I had planned before) but circumstances don't seem to be allowing it. Any advice would be appreciated.