about 3 months ago we introduced six new laying hens that were 4 months old to our existing ISA Brown flock of (16) two and a half year old birds. the object of this introduction was to supplement our old laying flock to get more eggs per day. little did we know that we were introducing avian leukosis virus, which is a type of cancer in hens. within two weeks one of the new birds died... then one of our mature hens died, then another, then another. from a flock of 22 we are left with 12 currently and destroying all their eggs daily. we took a dead hen and a sick hen to the vet and the vet sent the two dead birds to the university of ill urbana for necropsy. during this necropsy it was discovered that our mature birds were dying because of this avian leukosis virus. this death is somewhat slow and terrible and i am having my 12 remaing hens humanely destroyed. this is really taking a toll on our emotions as these hens are our pets and they have supplied us with wonderful memories and delic eggs. we have found someone who is willing to put them all down for us but i am researching if the virus can be picked up by the man and introduced into his own flock??? i called the u of i at urbana and a doctor is getting back to us. we are going to start all over in the spring with a brand new flock... please wish us luck. thank you.