I've never needed to post here before because there's always answers buried in the forums already, but the answer to this one isn't in here... Today was the third day our new (and our first ever) flock was in their coop and one has died. The death occurred in the afternoon and I found the hen outside the coop, up against the fence inside the attached yard. Her head and neck were sopping wet, but the rest of the body was dry. There was a tiny trickle of blood along her beak. No sign of illness, attack, or injury, the other birds seem happy and healthy. No signs of a predator breaking in to the coop. It was quite hot today, in the mid-90s. The chickens are five weeks old. We have ten hens of various breeds and the dead bird was one of three mixed-breed "Easter Eggers." The home-made coop is in almost full shade and is up off the ground about a foot or so, with open access to an outside fenced (and topped) run, as well as access to under the coop. There's grass and cool ground inside the yard and under the coop. There are two fount waterers, one inside and one outside. Here's my three theories: Heat - because it was really hot out and maybe they weren't ready for such extreme temperatures. But that doesn't make sense because they had plenty of access to water, the coop is in the shade, and the ground is grassy and cool, especially under the coop. Plus, no other chickens show signs of distress. And what about the wet head? Snake - I read that a wet head and neck can indicate an attempted snake attack - but the bird was too big to be swallowed and the snake gave up and left. That seems far-fetched to me, as I've never seen a snake in our yard. Ever. But I suppose it's possible. What can one do to fend off a future snake attack, anyway? Is it possible to snake proof a coop? Choked to death - she stuck her head through the chicken wire to get a weed, got it stuck and strangled herself. Her head and neck are wet as a result of the horribleness of the choking incident and only after death did her body flop limp and she fell back inside. But is that really realistic? Would a chicken get stuck in a fence like that? What say you, oh sages of the internet chicken forum? Are my theories sound? Which do you like best? Or do you have another idea? Thanks!