Have any of you ever lost a bird to old fashion old age??? I mean, I know animals dont technically die of old age, but complications of old age. I am a CVT and have dealt with many an "old age" death in mammals, but not my chickens--yet. Here is my prob: I have a RIR that I got from auction 4 years ago. she was a slow layer every since I have had her so I assume she wasnt a pullet at auction, or even a year old. I am guessing prob 3 years old as I assume most farmers may bring their birds to auction when they slow down on egg production. Anyway, starting about a year ago, I noticed she was slowing down. I actually put a heat lamp out there for her for a week because she was puffed up and quiet, with her head down. She perked up, but here and there goes back to the these symptoms. Her only one or two instances of spunk in her have been when she attacks a younger chicken (she was always my bully). During these episodes, she eats well and drinks, but is slow, lethargic and her comb is stlightly purple on the tips. And she has bouts of diarrhea. She is going through it again, so I pulled her out yesterday and let her hang in the yard with me. Her crop is large and soft and her BELLY is very soft also. No one else in the year since she has acted this way has anyone else had similar symptoms. I am starting to think she is having old age symptoms, maybe heart? Her feet are a bit cool as well as her combs. That with the soft belly I was thinking maybe heart? I didnt want her to suffer slowly and feel horrible constantly so I am considering put her down (at the vets- I prefer that method since I have access to it). But wanted to see what those of you with any exxperience in this area have to say. Thanks for any input!