What killed my pullet?

Uff Da

Songster
Apr 27, 2019
475
1,114
176
Montana
I just found a 4-week-old pullet dead in the run. She was still warm, and the blood was fresh and flowing. The only obvious injury was a very small puncture wound on her shoulder. A clear, reddish fluid was dripping from her beak.

Background: The 4-week-old chicks have been confined to a little coop/run inside the larger run for a couple of weeks, in order for every one to get integrated. I started letting the little ones out into the larger run yesterday. The large run is about 420 sq. ft., and there were six adult chickens and eight 4-week-olds. Approximately 30 sq. ft. per individual, with lots of weeds and cover for hiding. The run is not covered, and is not secured against small predators (though the coop is). The older chickens pick on the little ones when they get close, but don't seek them out to pester them.

My questions are, how could the little pullet die from what appeared to be a comparatively minor wound? Could a larger hen have inflicted it?

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