I have a hen going on four years. She was still laying last I knew but she is now raising a brood of chicks (not her own but other eggs I gave her to hatch and then she took over the chicks from another hen who brooded then left them early) and has not been laying for sure for at least 3 months. She is doing her best to take care of the now going on two month old chicks but is struggling to keep up with them. She is walking slowly and sort of stooped over. She eat well when she can but I have not noticed her drinking and it has been hot here the last few days. She takes the babies to bed each night in the nest box and Im always hopeful to find her alive each morning. Im just wondering if this could be just old age getting her down. Her poo is quite normal from what I can tell and her mood is good under the circumstances. She still does her best to defend for her babies so they have access to treats I try to get to both her and her babies. The others do try to swoop in and take the food first and because mama is moving slowly and the babies are still afraid of the older birds I worry that she and her brood are not getting much of the food. So anyway, my question is more about what is considered old age for hens, not in laying terms but in physical ability terms and does anyone know the signs of old age for chickens. Id like to know what to look for as the older surviving members of my flock are going on 4 years this month. Is this "old" in chicken years? Should I expect them to start dying of natural causes?