I posted Monday stating my best layer, Ginger, was sick after being the healthiest and most active of my chickens. She went from running in the yard at 2pm, to being lethargic at 4pm, to being dead at 8pm. I had a vet appt the next morning but she didn't make it. I am now down to 2 roosters, 2 grown hens, and two 14 wk old chicks who live with them in the coop but keep their distance outside during the day. The roosters are driving the mature hens crazy. I need at least 2 more of them to balance things out, but can't get them until I rule out infectious disease - so I had a necropsy done on Ginger. The Dr just called to say she was impacted with sand. She said she had never seen so much sand inside a chicken's digestive system. I knew Ginger ate sand - but she ate EVERYTHING. She was my crazy voracious eat-everything-in-sight chicken. I bought her last Dec. from a farm, where, sad to say, 100 chickens were all stuffed in a small pen and fed once a day. In my flock, she was the first to the food and the last to leave it. I give leftovers to my chickens every afternoon. We call it "chicken salad" - it's 80% veggies, 10% fruit, 10% protein (tuna, meatloaf - leftover stuff). They all come running for it - eat a bit - then walk away - except for Ginger who would eat until the plates were empty. Almost every day, she ate huge mouthfuls of sand. I tried to discourage her - to no avail. They all free range and have 24 hr access to food (Nature-wise layer crumbles) water and grit. They also have snacks - thanks to my husband - who throws them mealworms, oats, peanuts, sunflower seeds, chopped apples,etc. every morning. Why would she be full of sand? Is there something wrong with the diet? I have read threads here and on other sites about how eating sand is not bad for them - that it should move easily through them - this necropsy suggests otherwise. I watch all my feathered babies for changes in poop, behavior, etc. I knew she was sick when I went outside Monday afternoon eating a package of trail mix - and she didn't come running over to peck me for some - 4 hours later she was dead. Next month will be 1 yr since I became a chicken owner. Just when I think I have a system down - I lose a bird and question everything I do. Any suggestions?