I have an existing flock of 13 chickens; 10 hens and 3 roosters. 2 of the 13 are silkies - one hen and one roo - but the rest are standard size. They have a good-sized coop (12' x 12' x 9' high) and huge (70' x 130') outdoor fenced-in pen. Recently I segregated the silkie hen because she was broody; she's now got 3 baby chicks (1 silkie mix, the other 2 full size) about 2 weeks old. For now, they are in a dog crate in the garage. We also have 21 feed-store chicks who are about six weeks old, in the brooder in the garage. Five are banties and two are Cornish Rocks; the remaining 14 are regular size. Ultimately, we want everyone together in the same coop and pen, and I'm trying to figure out the best way to accomplish this. I have already moved the meat birds to the mini-coop (4' x 4' x 4') outdoors. It's inside the main chicken pen, but away from the big coop. I've kept them inside so far - they are HUGE as chicks go, but still quite a bit smaller than the adults. Could I move mama hen back to the coop without her babies, or would that break her little silkie heart? If I put mama and chicks back in the main coop, I think she would protect them and keep them warm, but I'd want to give them a safe place to go just in case. Anyone know a good way to do this? As for the rest of the chicks -- as I understand it, it's best to have the chicks almost the same size as the hens before integrating them...which means 4 months old I think. However, they will outgrow their brooder before then. I could build a temporary fence in the mini-coop area to keep them separate from the adults, but I don't think they would all fit into the mini-coop at night. I'm wondering if I could use the mini-coop as a sort of halfway house, and move the chicks out there in batches according to size. Even when most of the chicks are too big for the brooder, we could probably still keep the 5 banties and the 3 baby chicks in there for a while. Would a constant stream of newcomers every few weeks be too unsettling for my adult birds? Thoughts? Ideas? Thank you!