I was so excited to see if I had another pullet egg this morning, that after I opened the pop door I opened the big door to see if I had any eggs and there was one of my RIR hens, on her back, dead. She was quite stiff, so I am sure she has been dead for sometime. No signs of a struggle, no tracks around the coop, no marks on her. She was one of the original flock that I bought the weekend before the 4th of July. She was a mature hen, but by no means the oldest of my girls. She was a great layer, a beautiful little brown almost shiny egg from her every day since she has been here, even through the very hot days last week. My DH and I looked her over for some kind of trauma, but we couldn't find anything. I have read about hens getting scared to death, but if this were the case, do you think I would have seen some kind of signs of a ruckus? Their coop is elevated about 18-20 inches off the ground. On three sides it is closed in, but on the front there is a panel that can be removed to make cleaning up under the coop easy. The coop has a wire floor (hardware cloth) that allows their poo to fall through. The guy I bought them from said he kept the front panels off during the summer so they could use that space under the coop to get some more shade and to allow more air circulation through the coop when it is hot. Made sense to me, but now I am wondering if something got under there and scared her to death...although there was no signs of anyting trying to grab her and pull her through. I live too far away from a water source to have coons, but we do have skunks, fox, coyote, rattlesnakes and I have heard of some people seeing badger around her, but we have never seen one. My hen yard around the coop has a 6 foot high fence, but it is not covered. It is hard to know if she just died or if something caused her death. I would say she is probably heading into her third year of life. RIP little RIR.