Could my hens have killed smaller hen?


9 Years
Oct 15, 2010
I have 3 RR hens, a pair of Bantam Silkies. a White Faced Black Spanish Bantam rooster and 2 hens and I had 3 Dominique hens, all about 9 months old. One of my Dominiques was much smaller than the other two, about the same size as my bantam hens. The two bigger RR hens are dominant but the smaller hens stayed out of their way when eating. They all seemed to get along really well, but the small Dominique was always missing feathers. I assumed it was from the roosters but also noticed the other hens picked on her someitimes. I have a 50 foot by 100 foot open run so they have plenty of room. Yesterday I found the little Dominique dead. She was completely intack but her insides were missing! There were a few feathers near her but not a lot. What would have done this? My husband thinks the other chickens killed her because any other predator would have taken her away. Any thoughts?
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First, sorry for your loss! Yes, hubby could be right. Chickens are cannibals, and if they were pecking at her and drew some blood, that would be all it would take for the "pack" to move in. Was she found in a corner by any chance?
Thank you! She was about two feet away from a corner. There was no blood and very few loose feathers. My bantam rooster and two of the RR red hens are very protective and aggressive. They go after squirrels and birds that get in their feeder. We do have Opossum in our area, but I can't imagine they would let one alone long enough to do that to the little hen. I don't know which is worse, thinking my chickens might be cannibals or worrying about a predator getting more of my birds. We just recently trimmed the two bantam hens wings because they kept flying out of the run and laying eggs all over our backyard. Now I am worried it was the wrong thing to do because they can't fly away. I think we will be enclosing part of the run this weekend so I don't worry so much until we figure out what is going on. Thanks again for your kind words and suggenstions!
Chickens will cannabalize each other but I think it would take awhile for them to get around to it. It may have been dead and predated or it could have been killed and predated.

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