WARNING: graphic and sickening story to follow. Yesterday a house guest and I were looking in my back yard and I noticed there were only 2 of my 3 Faverolles hens marching around. Seemed suspicious, but distracted I only had about 5 brain cells focused on my birds. An hour passed and my mind kept returning to my missing bird. Where was she? Around the corner in her dust bath? She always hung with one of her sisters; they were never separated. Then finally my brain snapped to. I quickly excused myself from my guest who was half way through a story, and ran outside to discover a HORROR STORY. My hen was in the egg laying compartment of their coop and near her tail was a huge pile of what I thought was poop - then realized to my horror, the poop was a pile of tiny, shiny black wriggling maggots! I was HORRIFIED. Panicked, feeling helpless I raced back in the house and got on line here in the forum, ran a quick search for maggots and read what happened to my bird, in brief. She had an open wound near her vent, flies laid eggs on her, and my guess is, as she was perfectly fine the previous night, the larvae hatched all at once and overwhelmed my poor girl while her STUPID owner was totally distracted with out of town company. I quickly read treatments and got to work. Retrieving my hen, I cut feathers around her vent so I could see what was going on. I rinsed her vent area with water, washing about a quarter cup of nasty maggots down the drain. Then I rinsed with hydrogen peroxide, picked off loose maggots with tweezers, and leaving my hen on a towel in my tub, I dragged with my guest to the nearest pet store. I got a bottle of non-toxic flea and tick spray made with peppermint oil and clove extracts. I was going to use it to spray my hen (IF necessary) and I guess mostly I needed to do something besides freak out. When we got home a half hour later, my hen was alive but worn out, and I decided to leave her alone for a bit before repeating the clean/rinse and treating her vent area with tripleantibiotic (I was afraid the application to such a raw area would hurt her). My hen died later that night. I had been so sure I was going to pull her through! I was horrified by how quickly my hen went from healthy & lively, ill and dead. I have nothing sharp in the yard I can find or think of that injured my hen. No maurauding dogs in my high fenced yard, and only one neighbors cat that is timid and gets along with my hens. My birds are locked in the run of their plastic Omlet Egloo cube at night and have access to its plastic coop no sharp edges or splintery wood. No wood in the yard. No wire. No anything. No clue how my hen lost the skin near her vent, an area about the size of a quarter with no skin (so this must mean the injury happened far early than the previous day when she looked and acted normal. So! What I need to hear is, have any of you had such a thing happen? I never knew my hen injured herself and I dont usually handle them much. I got Faverolles largely cause I read they were friendly, but although I hand reared them, they are not too friendly, but are adorable and I love them. How often do you handle and examine your hens? Daily? Weekly? Monthly? Seldom? Have you found an injured bird with wound, or already with maggots and did you manage to save your bird? Despite having only 3 birds that roamed about 1/8 of an acre or so, I have flies that werent there before I got my hens. What can I do to knock down the outdoor fly population without poisoning my hens? Any and all suggestions on this dreadful post-horror story will be gratefully mulled over. I need help to keep this horror story from repeating itself. P.S. Thank HEAVENS for this forum.