We have five 6 week old White Leghorns happily living by themselves in our coop since they were 4 weeks old. They huddle together at night in the inside front of the coop by the door and sleep there on the floor. I tried putting them on the roost, but they seem to prefer the huddle arrangement. I also have three 2.5 week old chicks (hatched Aug 9th) - two are mutts (possibly Olive eggers/mix) and one is an Ancona - these are currently in a brooder inside our house. My goal is to move the brooder bunch to the coop next weekend when the WLs will be 7weeks old and the brooder mates will be 3.5 weeks old. I'm attempting to merge both flocks in advance of our vacation. I have a housesitter/chicken tender but I don't want to over tax her with brooder & coop chicks. I'm thinking after this Irene mess passes at the start of next week I will put the brooder bunch outside during the day in the run inside an exercise pen for a period of time so they can all see each other and get used to one another. I tried this with the pen outside the run yesterday and the WLs were very curious, but no fights broke out. How long do I need to do this "look" period before trying to merge the two? I want to merge them in next Saturday - a week before we head out on vacation - so that I can watch them for a week to see what fights will happen and take action if needed. I do have a storage section in my coop where I could house the brooder bunch if need be - however it doesn't have a separate run area. I don't have power in there either - so I would have to run an extension cord if I needed to have a heat lamp for them. You can see it in this pic under the manure board - there's 1/4" hardware cloth covering the opening at the bottom and I've added chicken wire to cover the top. It's accessible from the outside of that door & there's a little chick door just in case. Additionally - the "what breed/sex am I" section thinks the WLs I have are 4 roos and 1 pullet - will that dynamics make a difference in moving in the new flock at this age? The one on the left is the only one with short yellowish comb, the other four look like the one on the right. The brooder bunch When I do merge them - what's the best way? Rush around in the run doling out treats and create chaos during the day and sneak the three in while the WLs are distracted and eating? Or should I "sneak" in the brooder three while the WLs are sleeping - if so how? Just lay them in the big pile too? Or stick them in a different pile somewhere else in the coop? I suppose I could put them all on the roost together knowing that the WLs wouldn't have fallen asleep there & everyone would wake up in a new place. Oh, what to do!