It iced over here, then snowed, then rained and the temps dropped, so more ice. We did all we could to keep the canopy that covers our run clear, but the load was just too much for it (hubby says it was suppose to be able to hold more of a load than that...guess the manufacturers were wrong). We bought a new one we're going to use, as the load busted the frame on the other one, until the weather gets better and we can get out there and build a permanent roof, since that seems to be the best route. We thought if we heard more bad weather was coming, we'd just take down the canopy and leave our girls in the coop until it stopped snowing or whatever (like icing up), then put the canopy back up when it was over and let the girls out of the coop. We have bantams and have had to keep them cooped up for a week, as, like I said, we have snow on top of ice and ice on top of snow and due to that, haven't been able to get the new canopy put up just yet. We built a new, larger coop a little while back, so there's plenty of room for them. I tried to keep them occupied with treats and whatnot, since they've had to be kept in the coop. Though this is the first time they've ever been cooped up, other than at night (which they are every night and until we get out there in the morning to let them out), everyone was looking and acting fine. My RIR was perky and her usual nosy self, investigating everything I was putting in the coop and acting fine. I visually noticed absolutely nothing wrong with her. Even my neighbor's little boy, who gets a kick out of helping me collect eggs (as does my daughter) was petting on her and I saw nothing. I was petting on her myself and everything seemed okay. 3 days later my husband went to feed and water the chickens that morning and she was dead. There was no blood, no signs of anything wrong on her body, no nothing, so it was a total mystery to us. We have a heat lamp in the coop, though I don't like them, but the weather has been really wacky lately. 50 degrees one week, and freezing temps the next week. It recently turned unusually cold, so we put the lamp on to keep the water from freezing in the coop. Anyway, the water was not frozen, so I know she didn't die from the cold. Besides, I've always been under the understanding that RIR's can take the cold. Her dying broke our hearts, as she was our favorite. Well, today my husband went out to feed, water and check the girls over, as we've been worried since our RIR died. We usually check the girls over to be sure everything is fine anyway. He came in the house with two of my Wyandottes, one being the top of the pecking order, and their vents were poking out, which I thought may be prolapsed vents. I got the gloves and some KY Jelly and gently pushed them back in. This has happened with one of the Wyandottes before, but after pushing it back in, all was fine after. Today I pushed them back in, but if they started flapping around, it would pop back out again. One of those Wyandottes keel area is almost bare too. I know the pecking order is now out of whack since my RIR died, but I would figure if the other hens were picking at her, it would be on top of her body somewhere, not underneath. With the cold, I worry about her being outside with that area bare, so I've got her inside in a crate. I put Pick-No-More Lotion on the area, which is kind of like Blue Kote. Then he brings in my Barred Rock. She had a red lump that doesn't seem to be a prolapse, but instead very close to her vent. It may be part of it though. She also had a very poopy butt, so the first thing that came to mind was vent gleet, but there is no bad smell. She didn't like me messing around in that area though and she's usually a very calm chicken. It seems, after doing some research, that having all three hens inside is the best route to take. From what I understand, they should be in a semi-dark crate, which one is already. The messy butt Barred Rock with the lump should be soaked in Epsom Salts and honey should be used to help shrink the prolapse. I'll do the same with the other girls if their vents keep prolapsing. All of them should have hemorrhoid ointment used inside and out, vitamins and electrolytes should be used. Should ACV with the mother and garlic be used too? Should I worm my chickens and if so, what kind? I've heard that it depends on your area which kind you use. I live in western KY...an area that usually gets a lot of rain in the spring and winter, but for the snow we get every now and then...and at times get hit with ice storms, and very humid summers. I've heard the soil depends on it too...we have mainly clay soil and with all the rain, it's muddy a lot, though I'm putting sand in my run this spring. I have Wazine 17 that was suggested to me by my local Co-op, but I now know it's just for large round worms. They are not egg bound and their crops are fine. No mites or lice. Why is this suddenly happening with 3 of these girls...two of which have never had a prolapsed vent? Could it be stress from being cooped up, as this is the first time they've ever been cooped up this long? If it's stress from being cooped up, though we're going to have to chip through ice...bad backs or not (I have bone spurs on my spine, more bone spurs on two already spurred disks, two narrowed disks and two bulging disks...and hubby has torn fascia) my husband and I are going out there today and getting that canopy up, even if it means taking more pain pills than usual, as my hens come first IMO. I can try to provide pictures if you guys need them.