This is my first time on here. I am living with my mother and help feed animals. I do not know any standards on anything country. I'm a city girl learning to be country. I need your help. The other day I found a dead baby chick. Nothing looked abnormal to me. Except she was on her side, stiff, and a wing up in the air. We have been having stormy weather here in Texas. So I asked my mother what she thought might have been wrong and she said chickens are stupid and look up into the rain and drown. My mother didn't get a chance to look at it because I buried the baby chick. Well, now today I go outside and see our hen laying in the pin. I went to check on her because the other hens were pecking at her. I realised she was dead. Yesterday she was fine. Except, I didn't like the way the hens look. They are feed once a day with chicken scratch. I always make sure they have fresh water. But these hens, mostly it was jumba (the white dead chicken) and black (the other hen). Well, Black has bald spots on her chest. Not a blister, I don't think. But Jumba was beautiful. She did however have a dirty bottom. Can't tell on Black. I don't know what kind of chickens are but I took pictures of them for you. Yes, even of dead Jumba. My mother says chickens sometimes peck their feathers off. I am sure she is just telling me nice things and not what is really going on. I need to know this stuff since I am going to go to college and apply for poultry food inspector. Anyways, I think the sickness has to be because we just put the scratch on the ground. And the chickens, they poop alot, everywhere. So I know it can't be healthy for them to eat off the ground, right? I saw pictures of hanging food containers and water, is that ideal? Or is scratch supposed to be on the ground? Well, now we are building a huge chicken coupe fence thing for them all. So we have kept them in the pin for 2 weeks now, not letting them out because they tend to run off. I am seriously worried that this is contagious to other hens and our rooster and baby chickens which we have separated and our ducklings as well. I am at a loss as to what to do. Or what is going on and how I can solve this issue of falling hens. Please help. I have pics to post and I would very much love to hear any suggestions and diagnosis. Oops, can't figure out how to add them. I will add with request and someone telling me how to add images if you don't mind. Thanks.