We've lost two of our chickens to visceral gout. This was determined by necropsy done at the University of Connecticut Bio-Pathology Lab at Storrs, CT. They went downhill very fast when this happened, and they died a couple of weeks apart. A good explanation can be found at the following link: http://www.thepoultrysite.com/diseaseinfo/165/visceral-gout-nephrosis-baby-chick-nephropathy which is what got me to thinking how and why this happened. We had no problems when we were feeding them chick grower, only when we switched to layer pellets since they were due to start laying. The layer formula we are feeding is approximately 3% calcium which should be OK according to the doctor at UConn my wife spoke to. That is, providing they have fully functioning kidneys. What I think may have happened is this: because they were raised in a cardboard box chicken condo in my basement, as I was building the coop, they used to kick up a lot of litter into their waterer. So much so that it was filled with wood chips by the end of the day, even though it was raised off the floor of the boxes. We tried to keep the waterer filled, but this would happen while we were at work for the day, and we would come home to it filled with litter again. I'm afraid the lack of water during the day may have damaged their kidney's, un-beknowst to us until we changed feed. I guess next time I will have a different arrangement for the waterer to prevent the litter problem. I posted this info for any feedback on this potential problem, and to possibly alert others to learn from my mistake.