Recent articles pertaining to avian influenza: http://www.cnbc.com/2015/08/16/bird-flu-to-human-transmission-a-concern-not-yet-high-risk-cdc.html Actually, this article is more about financial issues, like egg prices possibly shooting up to $6 a dozen if we have another outbreak in the fall.
Please ignore that article's outdated link to a bird vaccine against H5N2. This older article said it was only 60% effective. This article from July stated 100% efficacy in chickens (being tested in turkeys now): http://medicalxpress.com/news/2015-07-usda-bird-flu-vaccine-chickens.html
Everything else is peaceful here for now. I lost a lavender Orp hen a few weeks ago and was so upset I couldn't even write about it. She had severe acute sour crop, and died within two hours of me finding her with it. She had been fine earlier that day. Kinda just blew me away and made me glad I kept a couple of pullet chicks so I'll still be up one pullet/hen laying in Jan/Feb. I had, of course, hoped to be up 2 lavs. Sigh.
My 3-4 month old blue English Orp cockerel is now as big as my hens. He's having quite the growth spurt. So far, he's fairly quiet, and he's been living with the blue hens for a while. I also have a baby blue boy I kept to see which I'll like better, but the difference in age is large so I probably won't decide until mid-winter.
Here are some pics from a couple of weeks ago, right after my youngest Orps (the lavs and blues) figured out how to climb the ladder up to the roost. They are now good little chickens and roost on the bar like they're supposed to, but just figuring out how to climb the ladder is always an exciting day.
Above is most of the group all scrunched together. This photo has lavs, blues, and blacks. Lavs are 50% English, rest are full English.
Three of my four lavs and one black in the back.
Sorry for the duplicate. Couldn't figure out how to delete it!
This is our darling Oly. She is half Orp and half Ameracauna. Her dad was a delicious lav Orp and her mom is a red wheaten. Her comb is so weird! It defies classification. She is a tall bird like the Orps her age, but her body type is more like the Ameracauna. DH wanted an olive egger, so here she is!
Sorry to hear about your hen.
Wow, he is a handsome fella! My lil guy from @kittydoc is a real charmer too. The longer I keep orps, the more I love the breed.