I have 6 ex-farm hens which I rescued from the not-so-free range farm I work on.. Problem is, each flock at the farm gets killed at the end of every year and naturally I really want to rescue more. I got ten last year, sadly four died in one month but for the last few months the remaining 6 have been doing great and we have no problems at all. I would love to get a couple more hens.. We have plenty of room but I don't want a total of more than ten because I just don't feel they'd been maximumly comfortable and I have to bear in mind that next year I'll be leaving them under the charge of my mother when I'm at uni- other wise I'd probably end up with half the farm! 8 seems like an ideal number for their pen and little field. The sitution's pretty good- the chickens are exactly the same type, have had exactly the same first year of life, are the same size etc, the only difference is that they're a year apart (current birds are just over 2 years old, new birds will be just over one) so mixing them probably won't be as risky as it could be in terms of dominance. I'm mainly scared about bringing in some kind of disease or problem. As I say, they're healthy now and every thing is great, ironically the birds on the farm have far more preventatives for disease and stuff than my girls have so you'd think the risk of some kind of contamination would be small. I work on the farm and the only real problem they've had has been with red mite and that's manageable. I'd feel awful to not take some when I know I realistically easily could but I don't want to risk the life of my girls, at the same time. I only have until next weekend to pick some up! (fortunately I've also drafted my neighbours and sister to rescue some too so I've made a little difference, at least.) Seeing these animals having to be killed is so upsetting. Also, going on the asumption that I will most likely end up with a couple, what's the best way to go about introductions? The two most popular ideas I've found have been either popping them in the pen as it gets dark or letting them all out together into the garden (not really my chickens' space as they're usually confined to only one part of it) to meet on nuetral grounds- which is prefered? (the garden poses the issues of a friendly but very playful puppy and 3 INCREDIBLY nosy old bantams, too) Is tempory isolation for the newbies a good idea too, to watch out for any illness? Thanks!