Our first go at chicken keeping is not off to a very happy start. The first two weeks were fine, then one of our black sex links starting sneezing. We didn't think much of it at first until her comb and waddles (I think that's the right term?) starting turning blackish. Then after a week or so our Ancona's comb and waddles started to get pale and she was very quiet so we became concerned that the sneezing wasn't just a thing the sex link does. We bought antibiotics which is the last thing we wanted to do and we've been dosing their water and giving the two sick birds one antibiotic pill per day for four days now. The Ancona seems like she's getting back to her old self, chatty and comb/waddles returning to bright red. The sex link not so much although her comb/waddles are a bit better. We checked her throat for gapeworm (yuck!) as we read that could cause sneezing/open mouth breathing. It also seems like she doesn't want to eat or drink much although she still forages. We checked her for mites, lice, and her rear, and all clear. Are we doing the right thing? What else should we be doing? Could it be the straw that's giving her problems? Can hens be allergic to dry straw? Another issue: We bought the chickens on Dec. 31 and they were all around five months old; we bought eight. The guy at the feedstore where we bought them was surprised none of them are laying yet as all of his that are the same age as and siblings of ours are. Again, what are we doing wrong?? We feed organic laying ration and a little organic scratch, high quality stuff from a reputable manufacturer. What do we do?