So we had a broody hen who wouldn't be broken so we did what any irrational chicken owner would do... got her some chicks. We were well prepared to raise these newbies ourselves in case the broody hen didn't take to them, but once we slipped them under her that night she was giddy as all get out to finally be a mother! We currently have her and the chicks in a ferret cage inside the henhouse of the coop resting between the lower roost and one of the nest boxes and easily seen and gawked at by the other girls at all times. My question is the chicks are quickly outgrowing the space and every time we let them out to roam around in the run for some leg room (while the rest are free ranging in the yard) they practically leap for joy. The chicks are now three weeks old and mother hen is still adamantly protective of them, so would it be safe to open the ferret cage at night (like, say, tonight or tomorrow) or should we wait? I mean, these newbies have been within complete view of the rest of the flock since they were brought home from the feed store so it isn't like they are totally unfamiliar with them. Also, I am not new to this chicken thing, I know there will be pecking going on, this is just the first time we've let a hen do the chick raising thing rather than us so I'm a little uncertain how exactly to go about it.