So I have this sweet little black astrolorp who has slowly declined all summer. She's not a great layer anymore, and now she just looks sad. Here's a picture of her taken this past April, and she was such a beauty. I've had two deaths in the coop this year, one pointed to Marek's from a necropsy, and the other is a little mysterious. The big dark girl behind her is a sex link, and she died late June after having her entire lower abdomen swell up. I initially thought she was egg bound, but after speaking to a friend who was a vet (who never did see her), he thought she had retained water possibly in the liver (I think I may be forgetting exactly where). Before she died, not only was her tail down, but she walked like a penguin. It was very sad. So anyway, here is a picture of her now. She's not laying. She appears to be molting, and she isn't the only girl in a molt. Even my rooster is in a light molt. What grabbed my attention actually was last week when I started finding droppings in the nesting box. There is plenty of perch space in our coop, and SHE was the culprit. I now line the nesting box with bricks so she can't get in, but I noticed that her and her best bud are snuggled on the coop floor instead of on the perches. She also has very watery stools. My first thought is to pull her into isolation, get her some higher protein foods (like cat food, or chick starter) and get her on some antiobiotics. She has a very special bond with another girl, so I may pull them both so they can stay together. The other gals have recovered from their early fall (late summer?) molt beautifully...only my rooster has some tail feathers to grow back. So what are your thoughts on this girl? I worry she may be following in the footsteps of the larger chicken I had die a few months ago. Leave her be? Or pull her into isolation? She's not getting picked on...her buddy is doing a good job of protecting her from the other girls. But if it's something contagious I'd rather pull her, and if she needs meds I'd rather pull her too instead of treating the whole flock.