Yesterday's post: I've had chickens for about 2 yrs now, without any of the ladies having had health problems....but I'm wondering about my black australorp. She would be about 18 mos old now. She isn't very active. She does move in and out of the coop and run without anything noticeably wrong with her movements. She sometimes sits in the run underneath the coop where it's shaded...and nothing seems odd about that with the heat we've had all summer. Her comb is bright, isn't lack luster. I can't tell if she's laying, but she should be. This morning she was sitting in the chicken door of the coop, but there was a breeze there so that didn't cause concern, but now, at midday, she is sitting in the coop, not on a nest box, back in the corner. She's preening and primping, but not moving about with the other girls. Is she just introverted? Is she sick? Last week, when this started I thought she looked bloaty or bigger than usual and stiff as she moved about. I read up on being egg-bound and felt around without determining a lump anywhere like an egg. I ONCE had a soft-shelled egg, but that was last year. I don't find any bits of shell anywhere to make me think she could have had trouble laying. So, what do I watch for? I know it's silly, I'm still a little skitish of my ladies. I can handle them, trim their feathers, and hold and pet them, but I'm not a chicken doctor! I wouldn't know where and what to look for. She doesn't seem like she's in distress of any kind. I've had a broody hen before, but this little lady isn't sitting on the nest box with eggs! Does that really matter? Could she be broody in a corner? (My grandson likes to pout in the corner....!) What help can you offer with this? Thanks alot in advance. UPDATE: The hen I spoke of is still with us. I inspected her for parasites and found tiny, light brown crawliews on her. Now her backside is smelly and covered with poo. She still moves about, but slowly. Spends most of her time by herself. AND NOW I'm noticing black gooey stuff around the beaks and comb of some other hens. I use the deep litter method in the coop, it is never wet or damp in there and I use DE on a fairly regular basis. I did just go out and dust her with DE and will probably sit her in warm water a little later....and dust her again? Guess I did that in the wrong order. But what do I get, on a Sunday, to treat her and the others with? Do I clean out the coop? Do I treat the run? I'm worried here. I've not had problems before now. The hen I'm speaking of is a black australorp, ~18 mos old, no other health problems in the flock, no recent additions.