I have to start off by showing an excited 3 year old with his new chicks. Next, for those wondering how to get your dogs to behave around chickens, start early. Finally, I was pondering the idea of letting the chicks in with the older hen earlier than I had planned. I had planned on keeping them separated until they were close to the same size, but now am wondering if it will be safe to let them stay together when it is time for the chicks to leave the brooder. I had 3 hens last year and one got killed by a possum (opossum), and yesterday afternoon I found a second one had died in the hen house. I didn't see any signs of trauma so I am pretty sure it wasn't an attack. I noticed that the one that died had a really poopy butt a few days before she died and after some reading am thinking that maybe that was a sign that something bad was going on. I should have looked a little closer now that I know better. I cleaned the pen and hen house today and added new shavings with some DE sprinkled all around for good measure. The chicks were let out yesterday and today while the older hen was out in the backyard and there were no complications. Anyway, the remaining hen seems real lonely and is even coming closer than normal. She has always let me hold her, but now she comes right to me and follows me around. She was the dominant hen but she has never showed any sign of aggression.