After a few weeks in the chicken tractor (see http://www.luckypennyacres.org/2016/06/26/baby-chicks-venture-outside/), the baby chicks were old enough to merge into the main flock. To help the integration process, we put the chicken tractor inside the main field where the main flock spends most of its time so all of the chickens could see and get used to the cochins before we merged them together.
We first introduced them into the main coop late in the evening when it was already after sunset and all of the chickens were roosting. Chickens are mostly asleep / zoned out while roosting so the older chickens didn’t make a big fuss and we were able to place the young chicks on the roost bars without any issues.
The chicks were also mostly asleep at the time, but the next morning they took the opportunity to explore the coop.
Click through to read more about their integration into the flock.
While the chicks slept in the coop at night, they spent the first few days hiding under the coop. They slowly began to venture out further from the coop after a week or two as they gained more confidence and got used to their new area. Although they are still a little hesitant around the other chickens, they now head out to free range in the nearby fields along with the other chickens.
Even though they hang out relatively near the other chickens in general, they usually stick fairly close together, even within the larger flock.
Hopefully they will continue to grow in confidence and fully integrate into the main flock, although it is likely that they will always be closest within their own group as they are the same age and grew up together.