I kept back three hens from my JM Freedom Ranger meat birds this year, and have been running them with my regular laying flock. Yesterday I found one dead in the coop; she was 9 1/2 months old. At first I thought she'd had an egg-laying problem, but it turned out the other hens had just been pecking at her vent after she died. There were no obstructed eggs/shells, just two partly-formed yokes. Everything else seemed pretty normal, until I got to her heart. It was about 5 times larger than any other chicken heart I've seen (granted this was a big hen, but I dressed a rooster that was bigger) and very floppy -- somewhere between the texture of muscle tissue and liver, nothing like the tight hard heart muscle I'm used to finding. So -- is this the way the world ends for Freedom Rangers? Should I somehow restrict the two surviving hens' calories if I want to keep them going? One of them I'm contractually obligated to keep alive forever (long story). The only thing I can think that changed much recently is that the birds have been cooped. This is not my choice -- they refuse to go outside when there's snow on the ground, so I don't even open the pop door until there is a thaw. BTW, this hen was not notably fat. She was enormous -- I neglected to weigh her, but skinned she made a large meal for seven medium-to-large dogs -- but had relatively little subcutaneous or abdominal fat.