Details -- she was 2.5 yrs old black Australorp. She was part of my original/first batch of chicks. Before she passed I had 14 hens. 8 are 2.5yrs old, 2 are 2yrs old, and 4 are 14months. About half of the flock is molting right now. my flock is mixed breeds.
The hen who passed had looked a little off for the last few days, says my 15yr old son. But during a molt....that doesn't surprise/concern me much.
So how common is a loss at 2.5? They have been happy and healthy girls. She was a good layer but was the most prone to broodiness of my girls. She usually went broody 2x a summer, silly girl. No Roos so she just sat and sat.
One issue we have faced lately is rodents getting into our run at night. The hens are cooped up and secured by the automatic door, but the rodents are squeezing through the chicken wire around the top of our run and eating the chicken feed. We are trying to fix the problem by replacing the wire with hardware cloth but we have to wait for good weather and time to tend to it. I'm in North Florida, btw.
Thanks for any insight.