Hello to you all.. I'm in need of some guidance, help and advice. A little background first.. Where I live we have been having a tough winter- constant snow has kept me from being able to let my birds free range. Conditions in the coop are not great but they are not bad either, however, its dirtier in there than what is normal for me due to the fact that its been under freezing constantly (can't wash inside) and also I sprained my knee badly and have not been able to do much of clean up, though I do the minimum. My coop this year is a bit overcrowded, but for the most part, each bird finds their corner and to my surprise all seem like they are getting along ok considering the circumstances of having a full coop. My coop is 12 x 16, also with an upper part which about 6 birds hang out in. I have 26 (well, now 25) birds. One is inside the house due to illness. So that means, currently, I have 24 birds in my coop. This morning I found my young Barnevelder hen on the coop floor. She was dead. Upon inspection, i can't find anything that would indicate what she died of. Because of the amount of dust and dirt in her feathers, it either appears she was taking a dust bath when it happened or, most likely, had a seizure. Her vent looks a little odd- maybe a bit bloody or oozing a liquid, but this could just be normal postmortem secretions. It does not look too odd. I looked around the coop for other possible signs. I looked at my other birds. My only other barnevelder young hen has what seems to me looks like a swelling above one of her eyes... So this to me points to a possible respiratory ailment through the flock. I did not see any other bird having symptoms of anything respiratory, in fact the bird that has the swelling has no other signs of respiratory problems. I can't see any problems in the flock except they are not as active today- WHICH could be because I did not get to them until much later than I normally do, then again, I'm feeling a nagging suspicion that this could be a sign of something that needs treated. My only guesses in what caused my hen to die are these: *Unspecified bodily problem, not infectious, but genetic *she might have eaten a tack I put on the wall to keep some tape up and maybe it punctured her insides *or eaten and chocked on plastic that I have over the windows to keep cold drafts away- one of them had picked a hole in one area, and I have not removed it yet because it is doing well for keeping warm air in and cold air out *One of my roos got too frisky in mating and suffocated her *The 2 degrees F freeze last night got to her and killed her OR **A virus or bacterial problem is in the coop and she was just the first to succumb to it If I have enough gumption to do it tonight, I may to a necropsy on her body to see if I can find any clues. Not looking forward to that, and not sure if it would be just better to send her body to a lab- they at least know what they are doing. But my main reason in posting is this: Should I treat my flock with an antibiotic, if so, how and which one? I have once before only had a bug go through my flock and I used Duramyacin 10 in teh water and I only lost one hen in that outbreak. The Duramyacin 10 pretty much did its job. I was amazed, and I'm wondering if I should go ahead with trying that or is there another medicine that would be better? I also put apple cider vinegar in my flock's water... I would suppose that I take that out when medicating, right? I only lost one other hen to circumstances similar. (acute, sudden, I mean) and oddly enough, she too looked as though she was dust bathing when she died, which she might have been since she was in a dust bathing 'hole' in the ground when I found her body. I'm worried I might have something seriously affecting the health of my flock, something that is under the radar... or maybe its just normal... I don't know. I'm not experienced enough. What should I do next? I've only got about 30 minutes until they will be at roost for the evening. I'm concerned that if this is bad it will spread fast and maybe tomorrow I will find more. If we did not have freezing temps I would treat with Ozine, or Oxine or whatever it is called, but this would not be good to put moisture in a coop during freezing weather- I already have two roos with frostbite as well. I can't wash the coop either. I have no means of cleaning the coop due to personal injury as well. Sorry for the long write up... I hope someone can guide me, or just offer their opinion. Thank you for reading.