I am wondering if my chickens are going Hanibal Lecter on me. Last night when I got in I went to check on the chickens and get the eggs. I get home around 5:00 p.m. but its just got dark and they are in the roost by then. And the last few days it has been colder than usual. They were born in May. I have a good size area for them,I am guessing roughly 100x50. I have one of the coops that the roost is inside,the nests are on one side and I have a door to raise up so I don't have to go in. I had 19 chickens and one rooster. It has been cold so I have been busting up the watering troth and raking the ice out. I also put in hot water of a morning before they get out and at night as well. So when it does freeze they can usually bust through it. I check at night and there is usually a hole where they have broke through. They have more food than they probably need so I don't see that as a problem. I would rather for them to waste some than to go hungry. As far as the fence itself there is three sides that are fence and one side that is the side of a barn. Nothing can get in from the barn I think. Then the fence is on one side of by backyard. I have a electric fence on all sides of the fence to keep animals out. I also checked to see if anything had dug through and nothing had ,the ground was froze. I also checked the fence and it was intact. So here is what I found. One chicken was dead outside in a corner about 3 feet from the barn and fence. The head was removed and there was a hole in the side of the chicken. The hole was about 3-4 inches circular and something had removed the area and the inside organs in that area. I didn't find any meat around or the head but it was dark. I did find a area about a foot away that looked like the center of the attack. It looked like the feathers were removed in that area,it was about 3 feet in a circle. The only thing I can think of is the chickens attacked it ,I have heard them doing this to other sick ones. I only had one that had any issues. I have one that had something wrong with it ,it hopped on one foot. I had checked it and it had a large knot on its knee area. I think it may have broke it from flying down a tree stump. I do not think it was this chicken as I checked it for the knot and did not see it. So I am at a loss of what attacked it or why. It does not look to be a preditor like a cat, usually they tear things apart. This just had a hole. The best meat was left. It looks like a revenge if you will almost. I asked my wife if they could have done it if the water froze and she didn't think so, I didn't either since they break through the ice. It looks like whatever did it got the blood out and internal organs in that area. As far as flying animals like hawks most of what I have seen is buzzards and they just fly over them and leave them alone. As far as animals there is no evidence of them getting in , the fence is fine. So if my hunch is correct what would cause them to attack one of their own and how do you stop it?