I cleaned out my chicken coop completely before introducing a new flock of birds. Within two months, the walls and ceiling are full of thick cobwebs and dust. Does that mean anything? One of my chickens died yesterday and I had taken it inside to look after it when it got sick yesterday morning. I couldn't say for sure what she died of, except that she was much smaller than the other chickens,had been picked on by them and she was shy and stuck to herself initially, so maybe they weren't letting her eat and drink? and her comb and wattle were very dry and shrunken. After bringing her inside yesterday, I noticed a few very small dark colored "fleas" or something on my counter yesterday, and I saw one on another chicken tonight, after dark, at the base of the neck feathers. It didn't jump, but wasn't stuck to the skin, just moved out of sight. When I squished them on my counter yesterday, they were soft. I'm wondering if there's anything to be concerned about. When I started reading, trying to figure out what a flea, a louse, and a mite look like (still not sure, can't find a picture of a flea), I wondered about the massive cobwebs and dust that have appeared in such a short time. With my previous flock, the cobwebs were thinner and not nearly this much, after a year even. Any suggestions as to what might be going on? I'm seeing more shrunken combs on a few hens, but they're not laying, so I thought that might be why. The combs don't have white spots on them. They have yellow legs and feet and I understand that means they aren't laying. They seem to be OK otherwise. Now that I've lost one hen, I'm starting to look for signs that there might be a problem. One of them was sleeping in the run outside, with her head tucked under her wing. I understand they do that even during the day. I'm seeing them all pecking at themselves at times, but I assumed that was normal. Is it? Do they groom themselves like that? Are a few "fleas" (if that's what I saw yesterday and today) normal? And what's with all that dust and those thick cobwebs?