Yesterday one of our RI Reds died in the run. (We ere gone all day. They free range only when we are home.) My husband found her when he went to lock up. She died by the door. It looks as if she sat down, put her beak down and died. In looking her over, I noticed lots of mites, so I will dust all 14 remaining hens and the rooster. I also saw some pasty "stuff" near her bottom. She had a redder comb than some of the others. She shows no signs of being pecked to death. Only one lady is laying right now. Many of them are molting. The hens are all 1.5 years old and this is their second winter. I was thinking of treating them all with an antibiotic in case there is a illness going around. I have seen some suspicious poop for a while, but I could never tell who it was and most seemed to be ok. Many of the hens have dull looking combs and I have been worried about that. Can I use Chlortetracycline if some are molting? (Would it be too hard on their system?) I don't have to worry about disposing of the eggs for two weeks as only one is laying. I was just given a bag of chlortetracycline by a friend who got it for her rabbit and only needed one small dose. It says for poultry, calves, and swine. It is remotely possible that the hen did not die of illness. She might be the one who was carried off by a hawk about two months ago but escaped and showed up two days later. (She looks like the one.) She shows no signs of external injury. Our dead hen is completely frozen at this point... it was a high of 2 degrees last night. So I am still able to look for signs of "something: if anyone has any ideas. Of all our deaths this was the most peaceful (fox, weasel, hawk . leave gruesome remains behind.) She really looks as if she is just sleeping.