Hi, friends. So I have - ahem, *had* - six hens. They were doing great - they're about 7 months old or so, laying every day, etc. Over the weekend it was raining quite a bit, and I was busy battling a flea infestation in my house from our dog and cat, so I hadn't checked on my girls in a few days. When I came home from work yesterday, I went out to our coop to check on them and two were dead, three look haggard with black stuff all around their combs, and one is completely lethargic - I doubt she'll last another day or two. Needless to say, I was completely shocked and upset. I started thinking about what I had done differently besides not checking on them for a couple days, but I couldn't really think of anything. I recently cleaned out the coop and used the same bedding I've always used, same food, etc. Then I started wondering if THEY got fleas as well and somehow they got sick. But I don't think fleas would do that kind of damage. Tonight, I realized something. My husband had some hickory wood chips (for cooking) that he was soaking in water to use for our smoker last week. He didn't use all the chips, and he left the pot out in our backyard filled with water and the rest of the hickory chips. I remember at one point I noticed the chickens drinking the water, but I didn't really thing anything of it at the time. But now, a few days later, they're sick and dying. Is it possible that drinking the hickory-infused water made them sick???? Thanks to anyone who responds!