Even though I read that a hen can fake `normal` when they are ill I completely underestimated this. One of the new hens (over 2 years old) had laid a silly-putty like mass several weeks ago but I wasn`t sure which one until a few days ago. The sweet girls was loosing weight and looking cold and I couldn`t put my finger on it but just not right. The temperature was due to drop below -21 C so I brought her inside. I offered her a smorgas board of food, and she was pretending to eat it! She would take a fresh sprout and break it into pieces without actually swallowing it, sift and scratch through grains in a bowl, and sort of toss cooked rice around like she was eating it. After a day, I could see nothing was passing through her system, and she seemed very uncomfortable when I held her, and her abdomen felt very squishy. I made the very hard decicion to kill her. Her entire body cavity was filled with tumours, there were white tumours attached to her liver, her oviduct looked like a small alien and there were fluid filled cyts further up toward her lungs. I have no idea how she stayed alive and faked being happy and well for so long! She was so sweet, I will truly miss her.