I recently got two orders of chicks in, there is about a week difference in their ages. They are about 3 and 4 weeks old. All told there are about 50 BO's, 50 EE'ers, 18 Buttercups, 12 Cuckoo Marans and 26 cornish crosses. I had them all in individual brooders for a while, but for the past week have been putting them in a pen all together during the day. And bringing them in at night. We live in southern New Mexico and the weather has been wonderful-not too hot and not at all cold. Next week is spring break and my DH, a teacher, is off. Our project for the week is building a new and improved chicken coop. Tonight when I went out to bring in the babies, I found two dead cornishes and 2 who were very hurt and later died. There were also 4 more who were injured. The thing was they were all injured on and around the vent! The other chicks were pecking the bloody spots. I took the injured babies out and sprayed wound-kote all over their injuries and isolated them. There is plenty of room in this outdoor pen for the babies and I do not believe it originated with the chicks themselves. The pen is not covered so one or two of the older hens has gone in and eaten the chick starter. I did not witness any pecking by the older hens at all and they (who have all the food they want in their own yard) do not peck each other. I did shoo them off each time. Could pigeons have done this???? One of the reasons we are building a new coop is so we can have covered runs, because we get tired of feeding the pigeons. I feel totally irresponsible and pretty ticked off at myself. I love my baby birds, even the meaties!, and cannot believe that I let something like this happen. Why were the cornishes the only ones who were pecked? I'd love to hear some of your ideas, but please no telling me how stupid I am, I already know.