I get the basic premiss of slipping chicks under a broody hen- wait until they've been sitting a while (we're at 22 days and counting- the poor girl's eggs didn't hatch), slip chicks under one at a time overnight, watch carefully to see how they react the next day, etc. My questions- is biosecurity an issue with 2-3 day old chicks? I'm getting these chicks from someone I found on Craigslist because I can't find a hatchery with chicks available in small enough numbers- I don't have enough space to house 15+ more chicks over the winter. If I get there (two hour round trip) and things don't look kosher I should just say no thank you, right? I'm also apprehensive because she's asking $4 a chick for cross bred chicks, which I think is way too much, but I kind of feel like right now beggars can't be choosers, right? Also, the ad lists 8 chicks available. I really only want like 2-4, but I hate to leave 4 behind with the possibility she won't find a home for them (I'm a sucker like that...). I'm kind of hoping she'll only have a few left. Anyway, if I end up with 8 is that too many chicks for a silkie mom? It's super cold here (didn't get above freezing yesterday) so enough warmth to go around is important. I also have a little red frizzle hen who has been "helping" to brood the eggs, so maybe she'll help with the chicks too, but she's been on again/off again while the silkie has sat pretty constantly. But they bed down together in the same spot on the floor at night, so maybe that will make it easier for them to mother together. Oh, and if I get chicks and after the chicks have been slipped under and accepted (if all goes well), I'm going to move the chicks, the two little hens, and my little frizzle rooster (all three bantams sleep together at night, and during this brooding the little rooster would defend the other two, plus I figure they need the warmth of that one additional body) to my isolation pen not because I'm worried about the other chickens, but because I'm worried about the cats getting at them. I let the other chickens free range and the cats don't bother them, but I know that a chick will be too much of a temptation to them. And even if I keep the chickens in their run the cats can climb the fence. But my isolation pen is sealed up tight, top and bottom, so I figure it will be safer until the chicks are bigger. But my concerns with doing this are- 1) will the little bantams be warm enough? The shelter in my isolation pen is an insulated dog house (and there is tarp over half the pen for additional shelter from precipitation) and when it's windy I prop boards in front of the door to block the wind while leaving a gap for entry/exit. I don't (and won't) use any supplementary heat unless I have chicks without a broody because I believe supplemental heat causes more harm than good. And 2) I'm worried about re-integration into the flock after a separation like that. Sorry, that's way longer than I meant it to be. But I appreciate any help!