Hi everyone, I'm a new member and this is my first post! My family had chickens when I was a little kid, and now I have had chickens of my own for about three years. They have a coop made out of an old children's playhouse and a 12'x25' fenced run covered on top with bird netting. We have a real problem where I live with hawks and coyotes. They are fed laying mash with a few handfuls of oyster shell mixed in and occasional treats from the kitchen (watermelon, celery, grapes, etc). Water is supplied through a closed-system dispenser direct from the house supply, no opportunity for any contamination. Because it has been so ridiculously hot here in Texas, I installed a cool mist system on one half of their run. Now they can use one half for cooling off, and the other half for dust baths. They have never been under artificial light to stimulate laying. OK, I know that was a long walk, but I wanted to give you a good picture of the setup here, because I'm really puzzled about something. Last week my silver laced wyandotte got very lethargic and just huddled in a corner of the run all day. She had watery poop which was clear in color. Her abdomen was very swollen but not hard, felt kind of watery and squishy. I could not feel any egg. I tried to give her water, make her comfortable, etc., but she died after two days. I did a quick "autopsy" and I'm pretty sure she had egg yolk peritonitis because I found cooked-looking egg material in the oviduct. All the internal organs looked puffy and inflamed. Fast forward to yesterday: my Americauna is showing the same symptoms: not wanting to walk, swollen abdomen, no egg able to be felt, PLUS she is passing yellow poops. Overall she does not seem as sick as the wyandotte was. This time I went to the feed store and got penicillin and have been injecting that into the breast muscle. I gave an AM and PM injection yesterday as a loading dose and will do once a day until Saturday. She seems better today, picking at food and doing a little grooming. Still does not want to walk much though. So, my question is: After three years of trouble free chicken raising, why do I have two girls down with EYP almost at once? Everything I read seems to point to excessive laying as the cause, but I don't see how that can be the case with mine. I just let them do their thing when and how they want. There are eight nesting boxes and only 7 chickens, so it's not like they are standing in line and crossing their legs. Any thoughts? As a side note, these girls were all purchased as day-old chicks in spring of 2014. No eggs until almost winter, then they quit anyway due to the season and first molt. Excellent (egg-cellent? blah) egg production last year, almost an egg a day from every hen, then nothing through fall and winter. This spring and summer egg production has been very poor, only 1-3 eggs a day from what was eight hens. I don't know if the two issues are related, but I thought I would throw it out there. Looking forward to hearing from you, and glad to be a new member!