First hatch of fall chicks! My best silkie, whose last batch of chicks is only a few months old, went broody and started laying eggs while her babies were still with her. One day she chose a tiny tin washtub and built a nest and started laying eggs, and soon she was spending her days sitting in the washtub and her babies tried to crowd in with her at night. The babies went into a bin of their own since they were not ready to join the older chickens yet, and the silkie went into a nursery box in the coop. I’ve built tightly fitting doors with hardware cloth over the front in order to be SURE to keep out snakes, which have been the main predator for young chicks and sometimes eggs. Soon after the white silkie went broody, one of her chicks, a half-silkie rhode island red cross also decided to go broody, although she was less than five months old. She has been sitting steadily in the box next door to her mother and her eggs are due to hatch in two days. Miss Silkie, who needs a REAL name, managed to hatch 7 out of 8 eggs this time, 4 silkie eggs and 3 standard eggs. The one that didn’t hatch seems to have gotten pushed aside under an edge of the tin washtub, so I won’t be letting her use that for a nest again. She did seem to do well with a smaller nest than the nursery box gives her though, so I’ll be looking for smaller nests for them. These peeps are going to have to deal with some cool weather coming up, but I’ve found hen-raised chicks to be exceptionally hardy even in very cold weather.