2 Questions: I have a mama silkie who is raising chicks with my flock right now. Most of the adults free range during the day and I keep mama and babies in the run alone cause the babies could slip out of my chainlink fence and I live on a busy road and do not want to risk them getting out of my yard and a pasing dog to get them or something. But in the evening I put the birds back in the run with her for an hour or so before bed time. Babies range from about 2-3 weeks old now in age. I have 3 BR 8 months old and a 7-8 month old silkie besides mom I have only had the other silkie for about a month or so. Mama is very protective of her babies but the babies walk right up to the other hens and other than the occational warning peck intheir direction, and I do mean occational, the other hens don't seem to even notice the babies or if they do they are basicly ignoring them. Well Mama went broody about 3 days after I got the other silkie hen but they got along from the very moment we put them together. Sleeping in the nest boxes next to each other all night and hangin out together very close when they free ranged. New silkie and the BR are now getting along great as well and the new silkie seemed to be kina missing the mama silkie during her broody time before chicks as she frequestly would hang out in the coop instead of out in the yard with the BR at first. Once mama had the chicks she kept everyone away for a week or so. However the last few days her and the new silkie are now hanging out very close together again now. Today was the best however as the new silkie and mama were laying together in the run this morning with the babies crawling all overand under both of them! I have a rabbit cage on the floor in the coop for mama I used the 1st couple days with babies to keep her on the ground with them and not up into the nest box as babies couldn't get up to them and she is a first time mom so I wanted to be sure there would no problems with other birds. Its left open and now this where her babies still sleep every night. New silkie tries to sleep on top of the cage which is blocking the nest boxes since hens were all molting and no laying anyway. So every night I have to go out and take her off of it when she sleeping and put her on the floor in the orner to sleep. Then tonight I went out to lock coop up and do my check and move her but she was in the cage sleeping with mama and the 4 chicks were under or against them both! 1. Has anyone else had a really young hen (who has not even started laying yet) who started helping to raise babies? I also have 2 LF Light brahma chicks who are about 3-3.5 months old and fully feathered I put in the coop the other day. Well Mama keeps them away from babies and the BR occationally chase them a lil bit but since the free range the BR stay to 1 area accross the yard most of the day and the Brahma tend to stay nearer the coop. But they do fine when I feed treats, Brahmas are definatly on the bottom of the chain but there does not seem to be any real aggression issues. When they are in the run however the Brahmas either stay in the coop or they are huddled together in the corner of the run..... Even when the BR and silkies are not near them. They seem to be buddies with the new silkie hen and mama could care less as long as they stay away from her babies.We decided to move them into the coop young and less than half the size of the adult hens because they were top dog in the brooder and "outdoor playpen" they were in during the day becuase we have 4 silkie chicks of the same age they were raised with and they were 2x bigger than the silkies and not careful around them. We had to put a 3 month old silkie chick down because 1 of the brahmas jumpedoff the water container and landed on the silkie chick and broke its neck a few weeks ago. They were just to rough in the smaller pen and brooder. 1. Is it common or the Brahma breed to be skittish when young like this? Like I said not really any aggression from other hens other than the occation chase to put them in their place and they come around other birds at feeding time. With older silkie chicks they are about 3 months old and went through the ugly juvi stage and are now pretty much fluffy again. I put them in my coop this morning for the first time and let them have the run with mama hen all day. Tonight is their first night in coop. I have had them completly off the heat lamp for about a week now. Its been in the high 90's here for the last couple of weeks and they just finished or are finishing getting some fluff/feathering out. Now its supposed to cool down this week and its getting into the 50s at night and may get down to the 40s at night........ Coop is draft proof/sealed well, but I have been leaving a window open and the drop door for so draft to keep coop cool and so adults can go outside 1st thing in the morning. the 4 silkies and 2 brahmas are cuddled up together in a corner on the floor when I checked tonight. 1. They should be ok in the coop this young correct? Even with those temps? Should I start closing up the coop at night to keep it warmer? Reason I havnt is cooling it down at night keeps it cooler during the hot days, but temps during the day supposed to really cool down this week I heard but I want them to toughen up for winter to as fall is around the corner...... So I am torn..... Suggestions??? My 1st winter with chicks...... Thanks for the advise!