On Monday, in broad daylight, something got into the chicken yard and killed our Rachel. Two or three other birds had near misses judging by all the feathers everywhere. We were home and never heard a thing. Hubby went out and found poor Rachel lying dead in the corner of the yard, she was gone from the shoulders up. Today, we were working in the bee yard and Lucy, one of our Reds, was making a funny noise. It's really hot this week and she was panting and sounded like she was wheezing. Since we were up to our armpits in bees, we couldn't go check on her right away. A short time later, there was a rapid thumping coming from inside the coop. Since I was getting stung, I broke away from DH and the hives and went to the coop to have a look. Lucy was dead on the floor; she must have had convulsions right before she died. We examined her to see if there was any injury we overlooked on Monday but found she appeared to be intact. Her vent was very read and puffy. There was a 'knot' of angry red tissue just inside her vent as though she was on the verge of prolapse, but there was nothing visibly protruding out of her. We are baffled.