I am ready to give up on raising chickens and it breaks my heart to feel this way. I have two beautiful hens, a Splash Maran and a Light Brahma that I adore. We've had them for about 4 years. This spring we decided to add to our flock so I purchased 4 chicks (one day old) from our local breeder. 3 of them turned out to be roosters - one was a Black Copper Maran and one was a Golden Laced Brahma...beautiful, but not the hens I wanted. My little hen was a Lilac Orpingon and the other rooster was an aggressive Buff Orpington. At about the 7 week mark, I walked out to the chicken coop to find the little hen displaying symptoms of Marek's Disease - one leg straight out and she couldn't walk or stand. I immediately removed her from the others and we had her euthanized. So I was left with 3 roosters and two older hens. Waited about 3 weeks to make sure the roosters stayed healthy and then re-homed 2 of them and kept the BCM. In the meanwhile, I picked up 2 Light Brahma hens that were about 6 weeks old. We had them 24 hours and a couple of coyotes came into the barn and pulled them through the bars of the cage - it was a slaughter and heartbreaking. Last weekend, my Light Brahma suffered a heat stroke - we treated her immediately and she pulled through just fine but it was terrifying how close we came to losing her. Three days ago, I noticed my rooster Stella acting off. I thought the girls were picking on him - he didn't want to come out of the coop in the morning and kept laying down. Saturday morning I saw that his legs were trembling from his weight and it went down hill from there. I believe that once again, it's Marek's. I had him euthanized this morning. So here we are again with our two old hens (whom I adore). We have been overrun with coyotes in our area so basically, we are hostages on our property. Our chickens can only free range when we are physically out there with them. No matter how careful I thought I was with protecting them, I failed. If I hadn't seen it with my own eyes, I would have never thought it was possible what they did. The heat has been bad so because my hen already had a heat stroke, I am terrified to leave her outside where it is cooler so they spend the day in our garage with the swamp cooler and fan on. They can no longer go out and roost under the trees and in the water/mud. Pretty sure that I have had a total of 3 chickens die from Marek's Disease and have no idea if they caught in our our property or if they already had it when I bought them. All my chickens are vaccinated, which apparently helps, but doesn't guarantee their immunity. I think my older hens are resistant but may be carriers? We have a ton of wild birds that live in our area...they could have brought it. It could have blown up to our property from the ranch down the road. I have no idea. I should have sent my rooster to get a post mortem whatever they call it but the idea of sending him somewhere - sticking him in my freezer whatever makes me cringe. I understand that it can live in the dirt for 7 years so any chicken I bring home has a chance of getting it? Now I am terrified that my older hens will die too. I know there is an entire forum on what to do if you confirm/suspect it's Marek's and later today when I stop crying with anger and frustration I will read it. The coyotes surround us. The rats have moved in. We are hostages and I just feel completely hopeless. I am sorry for putting this all out there.