I have 6 hens of varying breeds for almost 2 years. Everything was fine, except for one girl, the first year. This past year, however, has been a nightmare! Somebody is sick all the time! I have literally spent thousands of dollars in medications, special vitamins and treats and, of course, vets, plus an assistant to help me give medicines. I clean their coop every single, bloody day. I was determined to give them the best possible care. Now, finally, I think I've had it. My husband is grumbling about the time and money spent. I just can't figure it out, and apparently, neither can the vets. The girls have had impacted crops from eating too much crushed oyster shells (eaten at will), one that was laying internally and almost died from peritonitis, etc. They barely lay eggs, some have not laid an egg in a year or more! What I guess I want to know, is it always this way keeping chickens? I used to not let them out of their pens for fear of them getting a disease roaming around. But now I feel like, "what the heck? They're always sick anyway, so let them live like chickens." What am I doing wrong? Or, is it normal to have chickens this delicate?? I would like to give it up, but where would I take them? I don't want to kill them certainly, but who wants sick chickens? No one ever told me chickens are hard to care for! Any suggestions?!