I've recently had a string of deaths in my flock and need to find out what the problem is and what I can do about it. We are fairly new to raising chickens as this is just our second winter with birds. We live in northern Ohio and so far we've had a winter that has had average temps below normal. It's consistently been 20 degrees Farenheit during the day and low teens at night. With that being said I don't believe the cold and wind have been the problem. Last winter we had no deaths and we had a week of temps that got as low as -14 during the night. In this coop I have 25 Rhode Island Red hens and 11 Buckeye hens. They are about 20 weeks old and have shown no signs of malnourishment or disease. It all started a few days before Christmas, like December 22 I think, I found one dead hen in the coop in the morning when I went out to feed. She had been pecked pretty bad, but I assume that happened after death. The next day when I went out to change water and feed in the evening I had another dead hen. I was concerned that they may not be getting enough food or water so I started giving more feed and started changing the water, which freezes easily here a third time during the day. A few days went by and I had no deaths, then about three or four days after the second dead bird I found three dead hens upon feeding in the morning for a total of five hens in a week or so. These hens had clearly been chewed on by rats as parts of the feet and skull were gnawed off. I put down some rat poison in parts of the barn that the chickens have no access to and it disappeared pretty fast. I have found no dead rats or green colored rat poop that the chickens could have gotten into. I've had no more dead hens since then, but now I've had three roosters die here in the past few days. The roosters are in a different part of the same barn as the hens. I saw one rooster who seemed kind of lethargic and was walking like he was drunk. I left him alone and the next day he actually seemed like he had improved and was eating and pecking around as normal, but I saw one of our other roosters acting the same way and I know that this rooster (a black cochin) had acted fine even earlier that day. At this time I noticed that one of our Barred Plymouth Rock roosters was missing and I found him laying in the barn dead, toes and head clearly chewed on. Went back out and dispatched the black cochin and got rid of those two roosters. Today I got home from church to find the rooster (Rhode Island red) that first acted funny, lying in the chicken yard nearly dead. I dispatched him too. I am wondering if I we've got bird flu here or something? We've not had any coughing, sneezing, runny noses or mucous discharge of anykind that I've seen. The two roosters did display a lack of coordination and I've had now eight mystery deaths. Dec. 22 one dead hen Dec. 23 one dead hen Dec. 26 three dead hens Dec. 31 sick acting rooster Jan. 1 one dead rooster, one lethargic rooster (put down) Jan. 2 one lethargic rooster ( put down) Please help I"m not sure what to do. I'm not sure if I should cull the whole flock and start over in spring or what I should do. Does anyone have any experience with anything like this? Any suggestions?? Any insight would be nice. Thank you.