My broody silkie hatched out 3 chicks last Sunday. I have her in the coop, enclosed in a chicken "cage" with food and water. This is where she stayed the whole time she sat on the eggs. The other hens will bully her and such, so I didn't want them kicking her off her nest several times a day. When should I open the door and see what happens? I am worried that the other chickens will go in the cage to get the food and water and then peck at the chicks if mom isn't in there at that time. I've let mom out a couple of times since they hatched, but I always watch the chicks until she comes back. The chicks have not tried to follow her, even when she is out of sight. It is such a neat thing to watch the chicks and their mom interact. I am still just amazed that the chickens "know" all the right things to do without anyone showing them or teaching them.