She wont lay again until they are probably 5-6 weeks old. You could take the chicks away but she will stress out and call for them. Unless you really need that extra egg why not let her raise them? It is much much easier to let the momma raise them than have to worry about keeping them at the right temps.
its difficult to let her raise them, they are stuck in a small cage in my kitchen, i have nowhere safe to let them roam and dont fancy keeping her inside a cage for 6 weeks!
they were out in the field but the other chickens attacked and killed one chick so i brought them all inside while momma finished hatching.
also i could do with that 1 extra egg..demand is very high for the eggs right now (im even tempted to go out and buy more chickens(!) i actually ran out of eggs today and have none left for myself!
I totaly agree with Rubyrogue. I know that my last momma had just started laying again and she and her babies were in my garage. I started to let them out at night when I was able to be with them and 'Missy' wondered back with the rest of the flock 2 different times. The first time I brought her back and she stayed with them another week or so and she went out again and snuck back in the flock so I figured it was time to let the babies (which were like almost 7 weeks old) have a little time alone. I moved the babies out on MOnday nite in the big coop inside of a large pen because they are still smaller than the others.
I would let the Momma raise them, they do such a good job at least mine have so far.
Spish - Oh if you lived nearby I would give you some eggs. I have a hard time selling mine around these parts. I mean are you kidding me!! Who doesn't live fresh farm eggs from free range chickens. So I usually give mine away because I get sometimes 2 dozen a day. Yep i have alot of happy girls that live with us.
do you think now the chicks are all fluffed up the rest of the flock might not peck them? (they killed the other as it was just coming fully out the shell) if i tried putting them all back out? or leave momma with 2 and raise the rest inside?
will momma protect them from cats/rats? we have a big cat/rat problem here
Spish - If your chickens are like mine and most everyones elses then they will be pecked by your other chickens. I don't usually put my babies out until they are close to or the same size as the adults. Which I think if around maybe 3 or 4 months. I know you have limited space but the chicks will be safer with the Momma and she will protect them but I am not sure she can fend off lots of rats and cats like you say you have.