I have need of the combined wisdom of the BYC members due to some mysterious (or not so mysterious) ailment in my older flock. Recently (6-7 weeks ago) these birds were moved to a newer, more spacious coop from a smaller and dirtier one they had been in for 1.5 years. About 4 weeks ago I found a hen in sad shape, with 50% of her feathers and large amounts of mucus running from her nose/beak. I immediately put her down ( ) and kept a good eye on the remaining birds, who all seemed fine for the next 2 weeks. In the last 2-3 days both my wife and my cousin have said that the hens are no longer laying and are not eating. Part of the problem in my estimation is that my cousin, while he means well, does not understand why I feed them what I do (the recommended layer rations). He found the birds REALLY like the scratch and BOSS so he feeds them this as regular diet!! I have told him NOT to do so, and explained at length why he needs to stick with the crumbles/pellets. Today another hen was found dead in the coop. Now, could the illness be diet related? I also wonder if the respiratory condition may be coccidiosis from excessive moisture (1-2 were found sitting in the water dish!) I made a point to tell my cousin to stick with the layer ration ONLY. Can anyone hazard an educated guess on my problem? I probably will have to sanitize the coop at any rate... Thanks for your input!