Hi All It is so interesting reading about all of your chickens. I am new to BYC as I've recently acquired some bantam silkie chicks and I've never had chickens before. I feel like a new mum doing so much research!! I live in Perth, Australia to give an idea of my location. I have just come to the conclusion that one of my chooks might be deaf. Choco is about 7-8 weeks old. She doesn't make noises like the others and she doesn't follow them much either. When the others squeak, she barely makes a sound. She's also a lot more complacent when I pick her up and hardly makes a peep, whereas the others like it to be known that they are annoyed with me lol. I am also feeling as though the breeder is a bad breeder as they don't vaccinate them for Mareks like the other breeders do. I've already had one chick die (about 4 weeks old), despite all the love and care I've given them. I don't know what from. (it was a bit weak when I got it and it was found dead in the cage one morning last week) I have also noticed that Ms Henrietta (the bossiest one) only has 4 toes on each foot instead of 5 (as silkies are supposed to have 5). On one foot, she has a very very tiny fifth toe. Then I have Dorris, who has all 5 toes but one toe on each foot is deformed and bending inwards (looks like a genetic defect). So basically, I had 1 chook die on me, one that is deaf, two with deformed feet and hopefully, one normal chick (called Mary). My conclusion is that the breeder is interbreeding these chickens but thats just my opinion based on what I'm seeing. I love my chooks but now I am worried about them and what illnesses they may have. Is the Mareks vaccination even effective? I've heard that it's only effective when you vaccinate the day the hatch. So far this week, I have dewormed them and also given them poultry electrolyte solution because of the hot days. In the first few days I got her, the "deaf" chick's poo had red blood clots in it (I've just spotted another thread with the same issue) and she also has a stye on her eye lid, which Henrietta kindly pecked off for her. Is she vitamin deficient?? She seems way to complacent for it to be normal. apologies for all the info What are all your thoughts??