I have a rooster and 10 hens (mostly free range) that are about a year old and we just added 18 day old chicks to the coop a week ago. We started them in a brooder box but a few escaped and we couldn't figure out how so we just allowed all the chicks to mingle with the grown hens only in the coop we blocked the door so the grown hens can fly out but there is no way for the chicks to escape. My rooster, whom I wasn't over fond of, has taken them in as his own and protects them from every one and everything. Is this normal? None of my hens are particularly aggressive and I haven't seen them pick on the chicks. Should I expect as the chicks grow that the hens will start to pick on them to establish pecking order or dare I let my guard down since rooster is protecting them? I have one hen that will sit with the chicks but its mostly the rooster looking after them. I had no idea a rooster would take on this role and I'm pleasantly surprise! Should I fence the chicks off to protect them just in case or take a chance and hope everyone continues happily mingling? Does anyone have experience with this kind of situation?