Let me preface this by saying: please do not attack me. I have tried and I continue to try and do the right thing. My first broody hatched 3 eggs out in the coop in sub-zero temps this winter and took care of them quite well. They were separated from the rest in a cage for about 2 weeks, then they were free to roam the coop (and outside run when they dared). Then my banty went broody and hatched chicks about 3 weeks ago. She's been taking care of them with only about a week in caged confinement in the coop, the rest of the time they've been out in the run/coop with the rest of my girls and rooster. Until 2 days ago the chicks were small enough to go through the fence and she'd fly over and they'd spend most of the day ranging in my yard. Then about 10 days after the banty hatched I had a GLW and the bottom-of-the-pecking-order phoenix hatch 1 chick each. The GLW was my original winter broody, and did a great job. She spent the first 2 days in the nest box then came out to be with the rest of the chickens. Because my phoenix is small, timid and at the bottom of the pecking order, she got a protected cage in the coop for her chick. A few days later I came home to find the GLWs chick dead in the coop. I wasn't sure what happened (obviously, I wasn't home). This weekend I let the phoenix and her chick out of their cage (but I took them outside the run to roam the yard). She got into some fights with the banty mom that were slightly vicious and I separated them in the yard and had no further issues. Today I went to work and let the phoenix and her chick roam the chicken run (the chick can fit through the fence and the mom can fly over) only because it was rainy and windy... and I figured everyone would be ok. Not so much. Came home today to the phoenix's chick dead (and this time definitely bloody and pecked) in the run. So obviously I have a lot of questions and concerns. What was I (or the mom) doing right previously to avoid chick death? What can I do to further protect the chicks that hatch? Keeping them in a cage in the coop seems to not be right to me, the mom is always knocking the water and food over scratching around and the cage gets pretty small quickly with growing chicks who have ever increasing energy as they age. I had read that allowing moms to raise their chicks in the coop allowed for better integration and less fighting - but this is evidently not the case now that death has happened twice. Suggestions?