I have a Dominique hen that acted a bit weird yesterday morning. She put her head in a corner and wouldn't come out. I checked back on her after 2 hours and she was laying in the nest and seemed a bit ill. I had originally thought she was trying to lay an egg in privacy as she kept straining but nothing was coming out. When I went out in the evening, she was dead in the same nest box and ant's on her face. None of the other birds touched her. I do get snakes in the barn, but she has no marks on her anywhere. I have a couple of options as I see it. One, we live near a school and they like to "help" us with fire ants by putting out poisen near our fence-line. Two, the day before I turned some decaying wood so the birds could eat the bugs. I also had some water leak in their barn, though I have it cleaned up now. Other than poisen or mold, I am left with illness. So far the rest of the flock seems ok, but it's only been a day. Other possibly related problems: the egg production went from around 8-12/day to 0-4/day about a week ago. Previouse to that the shells are very brittle, or the hens lay with no shell. I have given lots of oyster shell, they get DE on their food, and I feed scratch and layer feed. Please help if you have any ideas.