I was given a small bantam hen mommy with 14 2-day-old chicks by a farmer/neighbor last night! They are SOOOO cute! Mom is a wild chicken - one of about 50 free ranged by day and roosting in the treetops at night on a huge farm that no one lives on. He throws grains and talks to them when he is there checking on the horses, but other than that they get no "lovin". I am newly addicted - my 1st batch of chicks I got in early May (3 RIRs, 2 BR, 2 brown leghorns and 2 white ones) and I've just started getting 2 eggs a day! (So exciting!!) These girls I handled a lot when they were tiny and they come running when they see or hear me. They cluck back to me when I talk to them. My problem is this - I know that mom will do an excellent job of caring for them; she is a VERY good mom and her hatch was 100%. I have no clue if she is a first-time mom but she is so protective of them. I'd like for these little guys to be just as excited to see me - or more - but if I can't handle them, I don't think they will be. I spent quite a while last night and again this evening, sitting and talking to her and the chicks this evening (doesn't that actually sound so silly?! lol) I was able to snatch a couple of them to cuddle for a minute but she really hurts when she bites so I am fearful. Should I leave them alone and let her be or should I take them all from her and put them in my brooder or should I leave her a few and take the majority of them? I have no clue what to do. I don't want to let her make them wild. I have read on here that the mom will leave them at about 5 weeks - but those first weeks are crucial to connecting with them! I'm in a quandary... also, I'm wondering about putting the smaller breed in same coop/run with my larger girls. What I've read says it will be ok - to introduce slowly and lots of visual contact before. Any and all advice appreciated. Thanks!