thanks Cindy; it may come to that, but I think I'll try temporary confinement first. I didn't actually witness whatever caused Ruthin's demise, so that hen is just a suspect at present. I think I need more evidence before condemning her. This clutch are on the verge of maturity, and their mom is back on the nest incubating a second clutch (and anyway she drove them off at 9 weeks). Another broody hen has been playing surrogate mum for any of them that wanted it, when they wanted it, and they spend some of their time with her and her littles (5 wks old, including cwtching up with them at night), some of their time with the ex-dom rooster, and some of their time with the main flock, and there have been no integration issues at all till now - like with yours, older girls just tap youngsters stepping out of line, and lots of places to run and hide. Ruthin seems to have got trapped beneath a strut of the bench.