Hi. One of my hens died tonight, and I'm pretty upset, they are my pets and I love them dearly. Her name was PrettyBird, one of my 4 Easter Eggers. They are all 8 months old. I have a large backyard that they free-range every day and they also are fed Purina egg laying crumbles. I put pine chips in their house and clean it out weekly. I live in Augusta, GA. Her behavior was just a little off today but not so much that I was worried, although my husband was, and then she was suddenly dead. When I first opened their house this morning she was in one of the laying boxes but then came outside. This evening she was in another box but the two eggs that had been under her were both cold. I know she laid an egg at some point because I collected 4 eggs today, and also 4 yesterday and the day before that. The last 2-3 weeks they have produced slightly fewer eggs than normal but they had been stressed because some kids were chasing them. After the 2nd time in the laying box she was breathing out of her mouth but I didn't think much of it because sometimes they do that during their egg song, like they are hyperventilating. Then she went to the water and my husband said he saw her drinking but still breathing weird. Thinking back on I refilled an empty feeder today so they were hungry but she may have stayed back a little while the others were eating. After the breathing weirdness she was walking around but sort of away from the flock...then it couldn't have been more than an hour later when I found her dead. It was hot today, maybe 90 degrees, if the heat might have had anything to do with it? I'm calling the USDA tomorrow to see if they can test her. It may bear mentioning that I'm just now recovering from a particularly nasty upper respiratory infection with the symptoms of bird flu, down to the mild eye infections. I hug and kiss my chickens all the time (not while I've been sick though). I just want to know what happened so that it won't happen again. I'm so sad to lose my PrettyBird and worried that this will happen to my other girls.