Hello. We got some fuzzy, yellow chicks last fall, and they grew into brownish, very personably hens. They began laying right before Christmas (5 of them). We seem to remember being told they were Cornish Crosses. We had one mysteriously die about 2.5 months ago. There was a blood streaked egg near her; no warning, we just found her dead. About a month after that we found one that was lathargic and "down". She had something wet coming out of her mouth but had no egg impacted or anything obvious. She was dead the next morning. About a month ago I had a hen with an abnormally large egg that I had to help her get out. There was another egg that shot out behind that (flimsy shell). She was acting lethargic as well, but she seemed to have recovered even though she never laid another egg. Well, last week out of nowhere she was lethargic once again. Her bottom had no feathers, and it was black. She had some oozing goo coming out of her bottom as well, but there was no blocked egg inside this time around. Despite antibiotics and hand feedings she passed away two days later in the afternoon. Well, the remaining two hens looked fine, acted fine, etc... Tonight I noticed one didn't look quite right, and we'd had a blood streaked egg two days in a row. Okay, now her bottom is suddenly void of feathers, and it is turning black; she is now dying, and I feel helpless. The remaining hen looks well, but for how long. These hens are not even 1 yr old now, and we will likely only have 1 left here soon. We did get other babies (varying breeds) about 4 months ago, and they are all well--none are laying yet. The first 5 hens are/were so very loving, almost dog like in that they'll come to greet you and let you pet them. We miss them. The other breeds (Barred Rock, Rhode Island Red and three other breeds) are not as personable. They also share their home with four ducks, but they have all been together from the start, and everyone seems to have always gotten along. What may cause what we are seeing in our older hens? I have read that Cornish Crosses have "health issues", but there are not many specifics and, certainly, nothing posted like what we have experienced. We love the birds, and they've been excellent layers. We'd like to keep the one we'll have left healthy if at all possible. If whatever it is is preventable, we do not wish for this to happen to our new birds either. Thanks for any input that may be out there.