Help! I have a young 3.6 month old rooster named Ivory, a small Bantam Cochin hen named Pumpkin, and Pumpkin is currently taking care of 3 chicks that she hatched out. She has been a great mother to them; finding food for them, keeping them warm at night by letting them snuggle under her in the pet carrier (which is their temporary nest box), etc...Basically anything a mother hen would do with her chicks. And they follow her everywhere. The chicks are now a little over 1 week old. They are just beginning to grow wing feathers now and are getting bigger, but are still small. I don't think they are ready to fend for themselves, obviously. While Pumpkin has always slept in her pet carrier nest box with her baby chicks under her ever since they hatched, just tonight when I went to put them to bed, Pumpkin was instead roosting on the coop's perch nearby Ivory (whom she always bosses around and pecks at, so I doubt the reason why she's roosting on the perch is to roost next to him ). Her baby chicks were standing together in a nearby corner of the 3x4 coop, peeping and looking up at Pumpkin, obviously confused because they are still way too small to jump up on the perch with her. It's going to be fairly warm tonight, around 50ºF. at the lowest I think. I have a small light in the coop and I lowered it so the chicks can get close to it for warmth if needed. But I'm worried that they'll get cold because they're still too young to fend for themselves. Being in a brooder box with a light is different; all they have is the small coop light and each other to snuggle with (and it's nice and insulated in the coop). Will they be OK without Pumpkin to stay warm under? And why is she just abandoning them? I took her down from the perch and put her in the nest box; her chicks followed, but she immediately walked back out instead of going to the back and letting the chicks go under her like she usually does. I even placed her in the two unused milk carton nest boxes, but she rejected all of them. I watched for a little while and eventually she flew back up to the perch to roost, leaving her chicks on the coop floor again. I'm really worried that they won't be warm enough tonight and they just seem so vulnerable without her. And it makes me sad because they obviously want to jump up on the perch with Pumpkin, but they're just too small. All of them are in good health. Everything is normal, and Pumpkin has never abandoned them like this before; especially at night. All today she was leading them around in the outside run, showing them how to take dust baths and scratch around for food in the leaves, etc. And now she seems to not worry about leaving them alone at night. Any thoughts? Thanks! ***I really need an answer ASAP if possible because it's already dark out and I hate going out during the dark especially when the coop is already locked up...I don't have very much time because I need to decide what to do with the chicks. Leave them outside in the coop and hope they're OK or bring them inside in a brooder box??? Bringing them inside would be a real pain because the brooder box got left out in the rain and it's dark out, etc. I'm just scared to leave the poor little babies out there by themselves! Well, not completely by themselves, but without a mother hen to snuggle under for warmth...only a small light bulb. *** Pictures: (taken today) Like I said, they're still just tiny babies right now and have barely started to feather out on their wings, so I really doubt they're ready to be out on their own, especially if it drops to around 50ºF tonight.