I try to make every precaution for the health and well being of my flock, but I think a virus has hit hard. I had 6 adult birds and 8 chicks. Everyone was fat and happy. Then I had the opportunity to get some silkies and orpingtons. So, I got 4 silkie bantams and 1 buff orpington. It had been wet and rainy for a few days leading up to bringing them home. So, them being a bit muddy and dirty was expected. Upon arriving home they were treated to an impromtu spa day. Baths for everyone (It was necessary!); wash, dry, and heat lamp. A few days later the orpington started gasping for breath, and was dead within the week. Her weight was a bit low, but not excessively low. She had seemed fine other wise. Since she was isolated and I washed (and sanitized) my hands obsessively I wasn't to concerned about the other birds. That is, until two of the chicks started acting funny. I noticed the odd breathing and crusty faces. One of the chicks has an eye that is swollen and pussy. I try not to use antibiotics whenever possible. However, I had a duckling whose eye became pussy sometime ago and an antibiotic ointment was the only thing that worked. So, I have used the ointment for the one chick the past two days, with little improvement. I keep vitamins and electrolites in the drinking water daily for all the chicks up to one month old. I added apple cider vinegar (acv / with the mother) to the sick chicks' water to try and boost their immune system, but I am not sure it is helping. My concern is that if these chicks improve will they be safe to put back in the flock. I don't know what illness they have and there are no vets anywhere around here that will even look at my chickens. DH suggests I cull the entire flock and start over. He suspects that the entire flock has been exposed to this illness. Since we raise these birds for both meat and eggs he doesn't want to risk the health of our kids by eating a diseased chicken. I understand where he is coming from, but I have been working hard to get this small flock established as a self-sustainable food source for our family. Also, I am starting to get a bit attached to these birds. What should I do? Should I start over as DH suggests? Or, is there something I can do to get my birds well again without risking anymore illnesses? Also, what could be causing these symptoms, virus or bacteria or something else? Side note: I don't know if these are contributing factors or not. The adult birds free range in a fenced in area of the property and only coop at night. The chicks are in an attached brooder in the main coop, and don't yet free range. They have been there since just before the outbreak. Planning to add to main flock middle of next month. Sick chicks were isolated in the house away from the symptomless birds outside as soon as symptoms appeared.