So... I've read a few posts where people's bantam eggs have hatched earlier than 21 days. I'm wondering how common this is. I've got a broody on 12 silkie eggs, and today's day 18. How possible is it that we'll have babies on day 19 or 20? Also, our chickens free range, and if we leave the chicks with the mama after they hatch, they'll be out and about with the rest of the flock. These are silkie eggs that I've bought, and, obviously, I really want the chicks. We've also got 7 outside cats who hunt. How good are mama hens at protecting free range chicks from cats? I'm thinking I need to take the babies away and brood them in the house because of the cats. Any input on that?