Today I got to experience one of the less awesome parts of owning chickens. Death of a chick only a few days old. But not from disease or unthriftyness. It was by the hand of the hen that hatched the chick. It was in the nest box, and the hen was still acting broody, but the dead chick was shoved off to the side. She'd snagged some newly laid eggs to sit on. At first I thought the chick could have died of exposure, but it had bloody peck marks (very bloody, so likely made while the chick was still living). She rejected it to brood more eggs. Now I don't trust her as a Mom. I thought she was doing well with the chick. Making the same 'momma hen noises' that the other broodies with chicks do, and tucking the chick into her feathers. She also tried to slaughter a week and a half old chick (olive egger chick) that belongs to ANOTHER Mom hen. The attack came when she left the box to drink, saw the hen and chick pair, and rushed over to begin kicking and pecking the chick. Thank goodness the mother hen defended her chick, but I thought it was done for because it went limp on the ground after a particularly hard kick. But it must have just been stunned, since as I put the attacker in a dog crate and saw to the chick. It was still breathing and regained its footing after a few minutes and the pair ran off together. Anyway, to the actual question: IS MY HEN BROKEN? Or is she just a poor mother? What could cause the sudden aggression? Agitation or stress? She has been broody for over three weeks, so she should have known it was 'time' for chicks to hatch.