This morning we had to put one of our hens down. She was from our batch of chicks this past April, so from our 2nd, younger group. She was a production brown (isa brown, golden comet, or cinnamon queen?) and the only one of our 44 chickens to have any health problems. She never did start laying, and her comb didn't fully develop like the others' did. Today she was 7 months. She spent most of her time on the roosts and she never seemed quite right, lacking the energetic vigor of all our other hens. Day before yesterday she didn't come out of the coop, as far as we could tell, and yesterday she stayed on the roost, fluffed up and hunched down at the same time. We had checked her over many times and we never could find anything wrong. No respiratory or digestive tract or musculoskeletal symptoms, parasites, injuries, or anything else that we could detect. The only thing any of us ever noticed was a very subtle head movement that our granddaughter mentioned, which I looked for but am not even sure if I actually saw or not. This morning our granddaughter opened the coop door on her way to the bus stop and checked on the chicken, and our hen was laying on her side/chest and clearly dying. Her toes were curled and legs drawn in and spasming, and her eyes closed, and she was shaking. She also had thick green mucus coming from her mouth, although her breathing had been fine, and still sounded normal when we found her. So we didn't want her to suffer and we sent her on her way to the Great Chicken Coop in the Sky. Anyway, two things. First of all, I'm surprised at how humbling it is to lose my first chicken! I felt so helpless. Secondly, I'm thankful for the experience of losing her if only because I understand better how hard it can be to lose a "mere chicken"! I would love hearing from any of you if you have insight about what went wrong for our hen! Sorry for such a long post but i wanted to give detail and history so maybe some of you could help me figure this out. Thanks for helping!