hey y This is my first post, I don't use social media usually but I'm feeling so low right now I needa reach out... Today my best and favourite chicken died and I am blaming myself. I believe if I was more educated I would have seen the signs and taken action sooner, so here I am to ask all the questions going around my head that I can prevent losing another in this manner. Now firstly, I need to assure you all that i'm no stranger to animal/pet death - living on a hobby farm and growing up on one I am a realist and understand these things happen etc... HOWEVER, out of all the chickens in my flock, Paris the wheaten Marans (profile pic) was the friendliest, most motherly, sweet natured and social one I have ever had and I feel that I let her down so here I am to ask the questions going around my head and I will appreciate any help/advice/kicks up the backside I get. Starting from the beginning... Paris was 3 years old, bought from a reputable breeder as a 3wk old along with 3 others like her. She was full-time free range in our 10m x 10m enclosure, and despite having a warm/dry roosting house, she chose to roost every night, rain or shine, on her favourite gum tree branch next to her sister. She was fed on premium poultry mix and vegetables/watermelon for treats. She had access to fresh water, plenty of dust bathing space, shade and sunny areas. We have no roosters and we have never had a problem with predators. She was wormed about every 6 months with Avitrol tablet, and dusted for lice/mites every 3 months. She layed regularly every day or so for the first 2 1/2 years, even during winter, until the most recent winter (last jun, jul, aug being in Australia) which was colder and wetter than usual and they all stopped laying, coming back I early September. This is the earliest point I would at things changed a bit.... when she came back on the lay at the end of September, her eggs were paler than usual and misshapen - see pic - so I upped her calcium and protein intake. They slightly improved but not completely. This coincided with a flock of scavenging effing crows deciding to come and steal the eggs before we had a chance to collect them each day. This went on for weeks until I had a brainwave and put up plastic flaps to stop them getting to the nests. This worked but I suspected Paris was laying her eggs under the tree as she sometimes did and the crows were still stealing them...... I now suspect paris wasn't laying at all? From that time until she died I wasn't worried about her because she was bright and alert, eating normally and her comb was normal colour so I didn't suspect anything was off. Then today I went to feed and water and Paris was hiding in the corner fluffed up. I picked her up and her vent had a terrible prolapse and the whole area was crawling with maggots. Her eyes were closed and breathing laboured. She was in so much pain we put her out of her misery. Now I have so much guilt about whether I should have done more when I thought she wasn't laying eggs instead of assuming the crows got them and I have questions I need answers for please help me if u can. could she have been egg bound for 2 months and seemed otherwise healthy? is it normal for a 3 year old hen to stop laying? what causes prolapse? should I have done something different when the eggs were oddly shaped? how long would an average chook like paris live for? can anybody relate with a similar story? Sorry for the long post, but I needed to get this off my chest, thanks so much for your advice..