I'm very uncertain what to do, and hope you folks can advise. Here's the setup. We live in a rural area in New England and hope to have a flock of about 6 laying hens. I had originally planned to get 6 RIR chicks, having read that they're great in many ways but do tend to fight with chickens of other breeds. I will be using the deep-litter method in a fairly large run. Then, all of a sudden, my mother-in-law announced that she's tired of her 3 hens and wants to give them to me. They're 3 years old, laying pretty well, of mixed breeds. They've been free-ranging in a very rural town, and have never shown any signs of illness of any kind. My mother-in-law is finding that she's just getting overwhelmed with things to do, and she's on her own. Advantages to taking her hens: I'd get eggs a LOT earlier. Disadvantages: I have to mix RIR chicks with grown non-RIR hens, and of course there may be infection issues that I can't perceive. Seems to me the options are: 1. Say "thanks anyway" and don't take the hens. Get 6 RIR chicks as planned and go from there. 2. Take the hens and get them set up in the coop/run for a while before introducing the chicks (once fully fledged, I mean), using as much separation and quarantine as I can manage. 3. Put the fledged chicks (pullets?) in the coop/run for a while before introducing the hens, again using as much separation and quarantine as I can manage. What do you folks advise? Thanks!