We had two broody hens hatch out some fertile eggs a few weeks back. One turned out to only be sitting on a single viable egg, and only produced one chick. The other has 5 chicks. We've been having to keep both groups separate because the mamas seem to want to kill one another's chicks. The mama of the single chick began laying 3 days ago, and simultaneously had a frantic urge to get out into the main yard. Although we still felt her chick was vulnerable, at just over 4 weeks, we let them both out. It's become increasingly clear that she is just done with the chick and the chick is miserable. He tries to follow her but he can't keep up. He gets separated from her and peeps so loudly I fear the neighbors will begin complaining. We reunite him with mama but a few minutes later it happens again. I worry too that our two brutish buff orpingtons might catch him alone and tear him to bits -- the main yard is their current domain. We tried briefly to see if the other mama might take him in, as he seems to be comforted being around her busy nest of 5 chicks, but the other mama won't have it and is intent on pecking him. We've never hatched chicks before, so I was wondering is this just a normal stage they have to go through when the mama kicks them to the curb? Is 4 - 5 weeks an okay time for this chick to be left to his own devices? The nights have been getting in the 40s or 50s, and we hadn't planned for supplementary heat because we assumed the hens would take care of the chicks until they were old enough to fend for themselves. Does he still need supplemental heat -- he will be 5 weeks old in two days. Is there anything we should do to help him out or just let nature take its course? I appreciate any advice or personal experiences anyone is willing to share!