We have been keeping chickens for nearly a year now mainly as garden pets and I have to say before we got them I had no idea how much you can become attached to them. We are all gutted that two of our lovely frizzle birds have mysteriously died overnight without any symptoms surfacing until morning when they were too weak to raise their head, open there eyes or stand..basically in the last few hours of their lives. The first was a frizzle chicken that we have recently bought, at about 3 months old she was fine and showed no signs of illness but then one morning came to the coup and she looked dead, eyes closed lying on her side and too weak to pick up her head. I picked her up and what made it worse was she was still very slightly alive so I rushed her to the vet who said there was nothing he could do and before he could put her to sleep she died. This was about 3 months ago. I took that to be just a poorly bird who had maybe been born poorly but last night the exact thing happened to our other frizzle who was almost a year old and genuinely the most lovely bird, we're all absolutely gutted. Again the same thing, no signs of illness, eating and drinking fine then the next morning lying on her side too weak to open her eyes. The vet said there were no physical signs of illness and he had no idea, same response from the guy at the local chicken shop and the person who sold me the birds. They all basically laughed at me when I suggested coccidiosis as they were too old, but the symptoms (apart from bloody stools) seem to fit. We have one more frizzle, 3 pekings and 2 hybrids and I'm really concerned there is an illness that could spread to the other birds. Seeing as most people I speak to seem to see chickens as 'livestock' and not a member of the family like they are to us I'm getting nowhere with advice from the people I can speak to locally The most useful information I have had is from using these blogs so anyone who has any ideas on what could have caused the deaths of our lovely frizzles and also what we could do as preventative treatment to the other birds, please let me know. What I am currently thinking is to move the pekings onto 'growing pellets' instead of 'laying pellets' for the winter as they contain anti coccidiosis medication and treat all birds with antobiotics. Any other ideas would be massively appreciated.