This may sound weird but....With my first batch of silky eggs I of course hatched them indoors in the incubator. Well I have since then hatched all my silkies indoors with their mom. I try to let my top hen do as many of the hatchings as possible for she has a strong attachment to me. She teaches her broods that I am all that! I find that by being indoors the chicks get to know me faster, they learn that they have 2 cat friends that go outdoors in their area and are not a threat and they get use to the dogs, also not a threat. I have been able to help with hatchings, fixed splayed legs and stopped an infestation of mites that came with a batch of eggs I got from an E-bay member. I make sure that the chicks diet is superb...mom knows, and gets noisy if I take too long to provide cooked egg, steamed broccoli, fresh tomatoes, garden strawberries, watermellon, watercress from the koi pond, plus alot more along with their chick starter. I let mom decide when she wants to start to lead them outdoors, usually this happens after 1 week, where I have prepared a pen and mini home for them. A few times bad weather has set in and mom felt safe with the family indoors with us and I did not worry about the little ones. By having them indoors we all get to enjoy the new babies. One of the cats- spookey a diluted tortie just loves to watch her chicks! Over the years I have found her taking naps next to the pen(s).She has never laid a paw on them. One thing I quickly learned was by using my top hen she would move her brood to the big house with the other adults much sooner than I thought was safe. I learned to trust her instincts. I watched her lead her 3-week old chicks slowly up the ramp to the big house for the first time and all she did was give the others the eye and took the best nesting box with her babes.That was that. Anyone who got out of line was put in their place pronto.