Hello everyone, I would appreciate any advice given as I am desperate and not sure what to do. I had a flock of almost 50 chickens this past fall that had 2year old hens and their offspring born in june. I have been raising chickens for about 5 years now and have always had healthy happy free range birds. I also have free range ducks no less than 12 in a flock. In the fall a friend of mine gave me a flock of 18 silkie chickens. They were not yet laying but I decided to give them a home. I had them in a cage inside of mycoop for about a week to ensure that everyone would get along. Ever since I introduced them I have lost many chickens. The symptoms develop fast and within days the bird is dead. Day one they hide and act lethargic, their feet and legs become so stiff and are unable to move them, they look emaciated and some have feather loss on abdomen. by the next morning they are dead. I give them high quality feed with oyster shells, and occasional cracked corn and occasional scraps. They are completely free range and only coop at night. I am thinking that the silkies brought something with them and have spread to my existing flock. This saddens me so very much because I have had some of my hens for a few years now, and was planning on hatching more of their eggs this spring. I have not collected any eggs since October November as well. I have treated with antibiotic in water and diatomaceous earth as well as mite treatments in the summer. I have lost almost all of my new pullets with only 2 left. I would be devastated if I had to cull my entire flock to eradicate whatever disease is killing them. I was thinking of getting rid of the 8 remaining silkies buT I just am not sure what to do. I want to add new chicks this spring to get eggs again and am afraid that this will spread to them and kill them as well. PLEASE HELP. I am now down to less than 30 birds!!! Just lost another pullet this morning.