Please help! I do not know what I did wrong. I had 13 3-week old chicks (some black stars, 2 barred rock, one spitz, and two white leghorns.) that are kept outside (they were only outside for a couple of days) in a large very insulated rabbit hutch. I put them out there because they were starting to make a mess in the house and smelling, and i had some more chicks that were about to hatch; and they were starting to outgrow the inside small cage i was keeping them in. I'm not shure about the exact measurements of the rabbit hutch i keep them in, I will take measurements later, but is big enough, it has a lower area that i have fresh hay on the floor, and there is an upper part that has a ramp and a hole (big enough for them to fit in), with hay on the floor. They had 2 regular small chicken waterers, and a small feeder that was simlair to the waterer, and a long feeder that i put against the wall. I filled up a rabbit waterer (one of those upside down bottle lookin things, i cleaned it well) and put it in, and they learned how to use it, so i just left it there and used it as another waterer. So, they had plenty of room, (they even have a low roost), plenty of food, and plenty of water. every day scince they were about 2 1/2 weeks old, i started letting them run around in an empty sandbox (it was never filled with sand) for about 15 minuets a day. as they got a little older, i would let them stay out longer. Temps outside for the past couple of weeks have been around in the upper 70's and 80's, and i put a big box out there on its side for some shade, and i would put a feeder and a waterer out there when they were out. I feed them chicken chick feed, and until very recently a little bit of cracked corn. (Now they are 4 1/2 weeks old) Their poop looks normal, small, but because they're still small yet, and the coloring is normal. A couple days after keeping them outside, i went outside in the morning to go check on them, their food, water, etc. i noticed a chick was laying down. I reached in, pet her, and she was cold and stiff. I knew she had died. What horrified me was when i picked her up, I noticed that around her butt and tail, the other chicks had picked and picked and picked right down to the bone. I was horrible. And it was very bloody. They had also did the same thing to another chick. But the (alive) chicks seemed fine, they were eating, drinking water, sleeping, acting like nothing was going on. I don't know why they would have done that. None of them were aggressive, I picked every one up once a day scince they were tiny babies, because I pnce had a rooster that was one of many other chicks that i hatched that didn't have much contact with people and attacted us, including my 4 yr old cousin who could be seriously injured. and i didn't want any ofthem to be like that. There was 4 other chicks that had some damage to their wings, plucked feathers and bleeding, and their tails, but they wern't seriously injured. my mom called one of her friends that we sell eggs to, and we were able to get ahold of a couple of gerbil/rabbit cages to separate the injured chicks from the ones that weren't injured. I kept the injured chicks inside for a couple weeks, and they have healed up really well. But what I don't get, is why they went on this little killing stage? If i had left the injured chicks with the other chicks, they wouldve been killed also. But yet they are still gentle with people. I still keep them separated, but i put them together to run around outside, and they don't fight or pick at eachother. I really don't want this to happen again. I don't understand what I did wrong with them, They had plenty of room, water, and food. Please help!