At the end of January, we ordered a batch of Buff Orpington chicks from a hatchery. We were offered a "free rare chick" as an extra. Our fluffy yellow babies came with one little black chick with fluffy feet. At first we were concerned that this chick was a Silkie. We get cold, wet winters were we are and our birds are put out in electric poultry paddocks. So this environment isn't the best for Silkies. This bird showed early signs of being a cockerel but it soon became obvious that he wasn't a Silkie but something else. He was too big to be a bantam and he had a clean head with a small comb and wattles. We eventually came to the conclusion (with help from you guys here) that we had a little Black Cochin on our hands, which was really great. We have a flock of mutt chickens and we want to breed in some broodiness and cold hardiness into them. So this little guy would be perfect for that task. As he got bigger, we found he was very docile and accommodating around the buffs with whom he was raised. He also started turning into a very handsome bird. However, we wanted to move forward with integrating the Buffs and Molasses (now 17 weeks old) in with our laying flock. Our head honcho rooster, Alfredo (a Leghorn cross), was not happy about having other roosters around his hens. The buffs were easily able to get away from Alfredo because they are bigger and faster than he is. On the other hand, our poor Black Cochin, while bigger, is a much slower more ponderous bird, earning him the name Molasses, because he is slow, deliberate and black as molasses. This meant that he could not outrun Alfredo and he was getting beat up and was hiding in the coop all day. I pulled him out into an 8x10 mobile run and coop with a few of the buff pullets. He was much happier that way. However, the buff roosters were causing all sorts of problems in the laying flock and they were harassing all the remaining buff pullets so much they were flying out of the electric paddock all the time to get away from them. So we needed to move the buff roosters into the run where Molasses and his girls were living until we had the time to cull them. We tried introducing Molasses back into the laying flock with the buff pullets, but that ended badly and we were able to intervene before Alfredo did major harm to Molasses. Rather than building another containment method for Molasses and a few companions, we decided to try putting him in with our 7 week old Delaware and New Hampshire chicks. Our logic was, he isn't an aggressive bird by nature and the chicks are big enough and fast enough to get away from him if there is a problem. So we moved him into the run with the chicks. At first they all ran away except for one little New Hampshire cockerel. This little guy puffed up and flew at Molasses with both feet and beak. Molasses put him in his place, but didn't pursue him once he gave up the fight. For the next couple of hours, the chicks were wary of Molasses, but he left them alone as long as they respected his space. By the end of the afternoon, Molasses had an adoring following of chicks grooming him as he took a dust bath. He has been really great with the chicks. They now look to him to see what he will do in scary situations and he has taken to chuckling at them when he finds food. He is now 19 weeks old, and happier than I've ever seen him. He loves his little buddies.