This was a 1 1/2 year old buff silkie hen. There didn't appear to be anything wrong with her at all and I doubt she was egg bound, though the bantam hens are rarely laying lately in that section of the coop or the other section since the weather started to change. So yesterday morning I opened all of the pop doors, then went inside to collect eggs, and there was 2 chickens standing by the body of a dead one. It had apparently died earlier in the night (body was already stiff). It was lying in the middle of the floor of their coop, no wounds or anything. Now, my thought (for what it is worth, since I know very little), is that the chicken was roosting and fell off the roost and hit its head or back on a shelf that sticks out there. And basically that it died of a freak accident. My husbands thought (who has never read a chicken book in his life and NEVER been on BYC) is that a chicken can't possibly fall off a roost where it is sleeping- that chickens don't "fall". Now, a nycropsy (spelling?) is out of the question, as the only place is abt 1 1/2 hrs from here and charges a small fortune. So we buried the poor thing in our "pet cemetery". So my questions are: 1) what could cause a seemingly healthy hen to die at 1 1/2 yrs old? 2) can a chicken "fall" off a roost when it is sleeping and do "freak" accidents like this happen? Or am I just nuts to think that? (not necessary to answer the last sentence- really). Thanks for any insight anyone may have. I am not trying to prove hubby wrong- I just want to make sense of what happened and make sure the rest of my flock is not in danger of something being spread around. Is there something I should look for in the rest of the flock as a warning sign of a disease or something?