Hi! First post, new member. Read on for the TL;DR details, but here's my short question: Can I introduce juvenile silkies (6-10 weeks old) to a coop/roost with one approx. 18 month old Rhode Island Red hybrid? Will they make a flock even though they are different types? We inherited two Rhode Island Red-type chickens a little over a year ago from a neighbor who was moving to Italy. One healthy, robust very bold chicken we called Brad, full of herself and out to conquer the world, or at least our little corner of it, and one shyer chicken - Andy - that had survived a raccoon attack but had permanently lost all her throat feathers. Andy followed Brad everywhere she went. Brad marched off into the woods one day last fall, didn't come back at dusk, and got eaten by a fox. Andy, who had been following behind, escaped and from that day on stayed right around the house/yard. We went and got a 20-week-old RIR hybrid (nondeterminate) the next day to keep Andy company. The new bird - Red - is even shyer, super shy. Afraid of grass, afraid of people, just wants to stay in the roost, even after a year. Red wanted Andy to lead her but Andy had no leadership skills. Kind of funny and sad to watch the two of them not lead each other. Probably should have added one more to make a real flock? Saturday was a sad day: Andy, who had been losing feathers and looking rough, died. I think, having done a lot of reading here at BYC, that she may have had a mite infestation. She never seemed to fully recover from the raccoon attack that happened before she came to live with us, and I think she was more vulnerable than some might be. Red, for example, still has all her feathers. I don't know for sure that that was the problem, but it seems like a good bet. To get rid of the mites, we are going to try the wood ash treatment described various places here, and treat the coop and roost with permethrin. We're also going to add a layer of sand on the floor of the coop and put a wood ash pan in the coop so the chicken doesn't have to be out and about to have a bath. Does that seem like a reasonable approach? After we do all that, is it safe to add chickens to the coop? We would like to get bantam silkies, probably 3 of them. Can they share a roost with a RIR? How long should I wait to introduce them? I only have one coop/roost, so I'm not sure what to do with them if I can't just put them in the coop with Red. I have a cat carrier, but nothing bigger than that. I was so heartsick over Andy that I had about decided I was DONE with having chickens. But I don't think it's good for Red to be by herself, so I feel a little stuck, and I worry about getting into a never-ending cycle of adding chickens when one dies. Help?