However once the babies are about two to three months old they look more like the rest of the chickens, who can certainly defend themselves or at least draw my attention quite loudly which usually results in a firm talking to that neither the cat or dog are fond of being on the receiving end of!
As interested in them as the dog is, she wont get too close as she has discovered that baby chicks in pens can throw buckets of water at her and she really didn't like that at all! (Ok, so I may have been in the vicinity, with a bucket of water at the time - but she really seemed to think it was the chicks not me!)
Anyway, when you have a few new chickens - old or new - to introduce to the rest of the flock,
Here's what I did...
My black hybrid layer (aptly named Thunder) is the top chook in our pen. Her 2IC is a white hybrid layer (Cloud) and the oldest chook (Sunset) is content to just tag along. There are chooks who are much bigger than Thunder and Cloud but these two have the most aggressive personalities and are always at your heels if you are in the garden - just in case there is food involved!
My bantams have their own personalities and often tell the Barnies (who are by far the biggest chooks in the pen and still have a lot of growing to do!) exactly where to go when they are not happy. My leghorns are bigger than hybrid layers but not as big as the Barneverlders and they are happily in the middle of the flock waiting for the aggressive chooks to have their fill before getting in and chasing the really placid ones away.
Green-ness: 5/5 for owning chooks in the first place!
Frugal-ness: 5/5 for not having to buy eggs - but we wont go into the cost of chook food....
Time cost: About 2 weeks to introduce new chooks to old chooks - the slower the better
Skill level: Observation and patience!
Fun-ness: Its great fun to watch - a soap opera in your own back yard!