I had 3 cuckoo maran hens, 5 months old, all apparently quite healthy. I don't think I've gotten any eggs from them yet, because I haven't seen them in the nesting boxes. I found one dead in the coop 3 mornings ago, with a bloody pulpy vent but otherwise appeared just fine (well, except for being dead, that is). Today I noticed one of the remaining 2 has an exposed vent that was contracting and had the nearby feathers plucked away. I held her and gently felt around her lower abdominal area and didn't feel anything alarming. These are my favorite hens out of the bunch (I also have 6 white leghorns, 6 black minorcas and 6 rhode island reds) so I'm really hoping someone can help me figure this out - I don't want to lose another one. She's eating fine, behaving normal. I did cut the cracked corn out of their diet after reading several posts here (I was mixing it about 50/50 with their layer food) and now they are eating 95% layer food with treats such as yard greens, yogurt, and also some oyster shell, but I just made that change this past week. No unusual poops noted. Any ideas? Do you think it's egg related or do they pluck around the vent for other reasons?? Any ideas regarding the dead hen? Thanks.