Okay, first off, I'd like to say hello, this is my first post, and I've found Backyard Chickens very reliable, since whenever I've been doing research Google's shown me BYC, so I guess I'll join and make my first post. I kind of feel like I'm in a room of strangers now, but, oh well.
First off, in late June, I took on the idea of allowing one of my Silver laced Wyandotte hens sit on two eggs. Two eggs sounds a bit unprofessional, I know, but I was planning on keeping them both. Anyways, on July 12/13th, both of them hatched successfully. I have a barred rock rooster, 4 wyandotte hens, 3 buff orpingtons, and two barred rock hens, all together making a flock of 10.
After doing lots of research, some of it, courtesy of BYC, I set up a small area in the coop using some dog exercise pen (http://t0.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcTc6lkJxGf1ZXnUT4WssXSItvYJr2YNyFzVLbD_b0qG1Yoq-zm97g you know, stuff like this?) stuff we had lying around, and I used two more little pieces of that pen to use it as a top so other chickens couldn't fly in and I used a milk crate as an on-the-ground nestbox. I put boards on the sides so small newly hatched chicks couldn't get out and get pecked to death. But, very unfortunately, I'm pretty sure this happened with one chick, leaving me with only one. I feel bad for my little chick, not having any siblings, because I'm pretty sure having siblings would help her(I'm pretty sure she's a barred rock pullet, since she has darker feathers than a rooster would). I put in a small chick waterer and I used medicated start and grow purina chick feed when the chicks finally hatched in a little chick feeder.
All is well in the coop. When the flock is put away, I let the chick and hen out to free range while I'm outside. But the hen seems to be slightly losing interest in the chick. I'm wondering, when and how do I separate them(the separation has no need to be rushed, I wont be selling the chick or anything, and I'd like it to be as stress free and gradual as possible)? Some other people on different sites suggest that(not directly to me) I just "let the hen out with the flock and the hen will protect the chicks". Well, honestly I know that isn't true, in fact the chick once got a nasty neck wound and was nearly killed if she had not squeezed into a corner, and the mom wasn't able to do much.
Anyways, the chick wont be with it's mother until adulthood I'm assuming, so when does the parenting end? And what do I do when it does?