I have three 8 week old chicks that have been in a large cage (along with the mother) inside the coop for three weeks now so that the rest of my flock could get accustomed to the new arrivals (I have 11 grown hens and 1 rooster). So this morning I decided that at 8 weeks of age and 3 weeks of being around the other chicks it was time to open the cage to get everyone acclimated. I had some Christmas shopping to finish up so I left home and didn't think much more about it. Well, when I came home this afternoon after being gone all day I found one of the chicks dead. It had been attacked at the neck and apparently pecked to death. The other two chicks thankfully were fine. No predator could have gotten into the coop so it had to be one (or more) of my own. My question is, was the dead chick possibly a rooster and my rooster killed it because it knew what it was? And were my other two spared because they are hens? All of the literature I have read said that at 6 weeks the chicks are old enough to move in with the rest of the flock. Mine were two weeks older when I tried to "make them one happy family". Any help would be appreciated. I don't want to lose any more chicks... Thanks!