We have a young silkie bantam who has had about 6 weeks of egg laying compared to about 4 months of broodiness. She's just coming off her second broody cycle, which lasts about 1.5 to 2 months. We are hoping to use her to hatch some eggs this spring (since we aren't getting eggs from this little mama wannabe). She is a truly determined broody so I have no worries about her abandoning the eggs half way through, but I do wonder if broody hens with eggs and then the new chicks should be separated from the other girls, or if it is better for them to all be raised together so we don't have to try to merge them later. I would imagine in nature chicks and mamas are just part of the larger flock, but any recommendations would be appreciated! We have 7 girls total, including 2 bantams.