Yesterday I picked up the 2 new girls; a Silver Laced Wyandotte (pictured at right) and an Easter Egger (pictures, left). Very sweet, and beautiful girls. The Wyandotte is now my prettiest girl.
Introductions didn't go as well as I'd hope. I set up a dog crate in the yard for the new girls, so they could all see each other w/o the ability to hurt each other. Eventually, I let them all free range together. The Wyandotte bosses all my girls around, and has no issues because she asserts herself well. The Easter Egger is much smaller, and the 1st day was picked on a lot by the Rhode Island. It was to the point that I had to break it up, and put them back in their crate. Because of this, I decided to keep the new girls in the dog crate for the night - so had to insulate it, make it rain proof, and give them a nest box (old cat crate).
Today they foraged one group at a time in the yard, then together (under supervision). There were a few minor spats, and the Easter Egger started standing up to the other girls.The spats they had today weren't nearly as intense as yesterdays. I feel like I'll continue this arrangement for the next few days, then eventually put the new girls in the coop w/the others at night. My biggest concern now is if the Easter Egger is in a confined space with the others (i.e. the coop or enclosed run), she'll have a harder time getting away from the others when they start pecking her.
In other news, I applied for a beekeeping apprenticeship for 2012, and feel pretty confident I'll get it.