Hello, this is my first post on the forum, but I've loved reading other forums for months now. I got my first chickens this spring and I've had awful luck, and I really need some reassurance and guidance. I lost two of my four birds last month, which I had raised from chicks, one to a dog, one had crossbeak and lost an eye before I had to put her down (most dreadful thing I've ever done). Three weeks ago I brought home two birds from the state fair, a pullet Barred Rock and an adult Blue Orpington. I watched them for a day then put them with the others (sigh, learn by doing) because I was going out of town in a week. The original two immediately got the sniffles (which has since gone away with tetracycline) but everybody otherwise seemed fine. Within a day of me leaving (and leaving the birds in the care of my neighbors, who did the maintenance work but otherwise knew little about chickens) we had my first hawk attack. The pullet got injured (but saved by the neighbor in the nick of time!) and has since recovered. 10 days after the attack I swung by home for a day before I headed out of town for another week, and noticed two things my neighbors had missed- one of my original birds had strange matted feathers right at both shoulder-blades and the back of the neck. I think she must have gotten injured by the hawk, bled, and has since been able to clean herself up except for in those areas. I put Vetericyn on the feathers but she appears to be fine. I'm not worried, but if somebody recognizes it as something other than bloodied feathers (mites, perhaps?) then I'd love the input. Ok, on to my poor Orpington. I was told she was born in February, but I haven't gotten a single egg out of her. I know stress can cause this, but I'm getting the sinking feeling that they purposefully forgot to tell me which year she was born in. She's always acted shy, but the one day I was home (about a week ago) I noticed she didn't leave the coop because of an injured eye. I isolated her in an outdoor sick bay, put Vetericyn on the eye and the swollen side of the face, and added probiotics to the water before I left and instructed the neighbors to do the same (can't know for sure if they did). I returned yesterday and the issue has not gotten better, but not really worse either. The other eye occasionally has bubbles in it. She usually has her mouth open a bit. The injured eye looks like it's still intact, just surrounded with swollen tissue. What do you guys think? Injury? Virus/bacteria? There's a lot of scary diagnosis around and none of them sound optimistic. I'm angry and sad that I've had such bad luck with all of my birds. I'm tempted to scrap the whole idea and let my heart heal for awhile. Hugs and help appreciated.