Last year, we bought some day-old chicks. The ones not eaten by our neighbor's dog included: Silverwings, a Silver laced Wyandotte, Cypher, a Black Australorp, and Buttercup, a Buff Orpington. Earlier this year we found Cypher's dead body lying outside the nest boxes, inside the chicken coop. She was the first of our chickens to die of a disease, and we have had over 30. Some of them had lived up to four years before being eaten by a predator. Our earlier chickens had died young because of predators, but now our chicken coop is more predator-proof, and we have not recently lost a chicken to a predator (other than that dog). I thought that Cypher might have been egg-bound, so I did not worry very much about it being a disease that the other chickens could catch. But just this morning, Buttercup was lying dead inside the coop, in almost the exact same spot as Cypher had been. Could this be caused by their food? We let all our adult chickens free-range on our twelve-acre yard, plus we feed them store-bought chicken food. Also, yesterday I noticed that Buttercup was acting strange. She was always tolerant of being carried around, but yesterday she seemed very uncomfortable in my arms and wanted to get down. She felt strange when I was holding her; I do not know how, she just felt different. Do you think we should worry about Silverwings dying too? We have three pullets that we got this year that have been together with the adults for a few weeks (we put them in a few months after Cypher died). Should they be separated from Silverwings, in case it is a disease? Silverwings hates the baby chickens, but she always seems so sad and lonely when she is outside by herself. I have another question that does not have to do with a disease, but that does have to do with chickens dying. When Cypher died, Buttercup stood on the railing on the deck and started cackling. It was not the cackle that hens do when they lay an egg; it was a different pitch and sounded a bit sad. I would have thought that this was unrelated to Cypher's death, because none of our chickens had ever done it when one of them died before. But all the other times that a chicken had died it had been because of a predator. Today, after Silverwings knew that Buttercup was dead, she walked out of the chicken coop and made a very similar cackle. Have any of your chickens, or chickens that you know about, done this "death cackle" when one of their flock died?