Our Speckled Sussex hen died today, and I'm not sure of why. She seemed to be her usual self over the past few days, and we found her in the hen house on the ground. We suspect that she died and then fell off of the roost that was just above her. She was almost 8 months old and was one of 20 other hens of various breeds. The others seem fine so far. If you have any suggestions for what might have caused her death, please chime in. My primary interest in determining the cause of death is in protecting the rest of the flock. Note- If you don't want to read about the autopsy, don't read the rest. I took her into a well-lit area for a post-mortem exam. I couldn't find any obvious signs of damage. Her feathers were all as they should have been, and she did not have any rigor mortis. Her feet and head were close to ambient temperature, and her core was somewhat warm, though certainly not regular body temperature. Her eyes were closed and her comb was fairly reddish. I opened her main body cavity from the top of her neck back to near her vent. I have only processed one other chicken, and he was a rooster of a different breed and a younger age- thus my norms aren't well established. Having said that, the internals looked mostly normal. The liver was a little larger than I would have expected- a medium handful from each half. Other than the size, it looked normal (color, texture). I didn't see any signs of parasites anywhere. I opened the crop and gizzard and found some leaves, grass, feed, and some coarse sand in the gizzard. Nothing seemed out of the ordinary in this or the rest of the digestive tract. No sign of worms. The lungs looked fine, no signs of mucus in the nostrils etc. One thing that did seem abnormal was the quantity and quality of the fat. In the area around her vent, there were fat deposits that were approximately one inch thick and perhaps 5x5 in overall area. These deposits were yellowish, which led me to suspect internal laying. How much fat is normal, and are there any other indications of internal laying? Being my first PM, I didn't make a positive ID of the oviduct and ovaries- nothing seemed to obviously be them. Is that in itself a sign of an oviduct problem? There were some organs nestled tight against the spine that were about the size of large olives. They were whitish/pinkish in color and very squishy. Does anyone have any pictures of a healthy chicken's ovaries and oviduct? We aren't sure if she has been (or ever was) laying- we collect eggs regularly, but with so many different chickens it is hard to know which eggs came from which chicken. At the time of inspection, her vent was about 3/8" diameter. It's hard to imagine an egg coming through that vent, but who knows. In retrospect, there were a few other things that I could have checked- but they say experience is something you get right after you need it. Thanks in advance for your help.