I went to the barn this morning to find my 4 1/2 year old cochin bantam roo -Stuart- on the gound under the roost and is too weak to walk or stand without help. Is this young for a bantam to die? I think so, but most of my chickens seem to die young and I have yet to find out why this is happening. If you want a history on my birds, start reading here. If not, skip down to the bold and read from there. Back when I first got hens (no roo yet) I got four pullets and two cochin bantam hens I bought from a guy in a southern states parking lot. They were kept in a horse stall and then a walk-in chicken coop/run once we had it fixed up and cleaned out. Sometimes I put them back in the horse stall for winter. Bedding was hay. They were raised on scratch grains (I know, I know, but it's what the person in SS told me to feed them) scraps and whatever bugs, grass ect they could find outside. Soon after I started to buy layer crumbles from SS along with the scratch. Once the pullets/other hens were laying (the bantams already were when I got them) I offered oyster shell and grit and still do to this day. In their second year of laying I think (sping/summer) I had two two year olds act "off" one day, just standing apart from the others and not wanting to eat, then dead the next morning. The second was months apart form the first. (this was 4-5 years ago) After that, one cochin was eaten by a wild animal and that about ended their free ranging unless I was out there with them. My last cochin bantam at the time had a few bad days when it was like her leg was hurt, but she pulled through. This was about when Stuart came into the picture, and I bought him from the same place as the others. Later on (few months) my buff orpington had an "off" day and was acting like the others that had died, but after about two days she got through it. Skip ahead about six months, I have moved (long, not so happy story) and now keep the chickens in a horse stall on pine flake bedding but still put hay in nest barrels. There is next to no draft but good ventilation. Lighting is ok because there is a window high up to the outside. They were getting bird seed for scratch and Dumore layer pellets. My cochin bamtam hen, Abby, acted like she was hurt, had runny poop and died about five days later. In another six months I add another bird (Nosey from the last thread) from a friend of a friend because the hen was too aggressive for their flock. She was fine with mine. I also get two hens (a barred rock and an EE) from some people down the road. My Buff was no longer laying and was starting to go down hill. I think she was about 4 1/2. She hung on but had to be isolated for about 3 months before she died because the other hens would have killed her. The hen -Nugget- was friendly and was not too upset because she got to be outside free ranging all day, and would even fallow me up the road to the house-then expect me to carry her back. Before she died she got weak, would twist her neck around and just not stand up for herself at all. About this time I started useing sweet pdz in my horses's stall and I put a little in the chicken stall when I clean it, before I put new shavings down. I also changed feed (slowly) to Purinia Omega egg pellets. Then Nosey. I had not had her all that long and we guess she was about 6 when she started getting bad. I started a thread about here on here and it was determined it was ascites, so I drained her when she needed it and she lived for about 7-8 months. She also had some kind of mites that I treated her for. I have since treated all my birds once, even though I did not see any mites on them. If one had em, they all probably did. Chickens are back on SS layer crumbles because they hated the purina feed (yes, the crumbles didn't go over well either) Are also now eating out of elevated feeders and not bowls and scratch on the floor. Water is still in a large bowl. There are some mice in the barn the can evade the cats. My "last of the first" hen, Runaway, an EE now about 6 layed well, but was panting badly a few days and nights this past summer. But then she was better, so I have no idea what that was about. So now Stuart. About two/three months ago I thought he was losing weight. Three weeks after that I found a worm/parasite not in poop, but in the water bowl. Took it to the vet and she said tape worm. I dewormed twice with Valbazen (dewromer, waited 7 or ten days, dewormed again (I put it on bread for each chicken for they got their dose). I did not see any more, so stopped after that because I wanted to be able to eat the eggs again and not over do the dewormer. I then gave the chicks a probiotic in their water for a few days. So now about two or three weeks have gone by and Stuart did not attack my feet. This is not normal-most of the time the best he gets is going two days, then tries to chase me again. He has been lifting his head lately, and I saw him shake it now and then. But then he would stop. For a few nights he got on the roost away from his girls, but then he stopped that and slept by them again. When he has not been eating or making a nest for his three hens he was sitting around fluffed up, but it was been cooler and they all have been to some extent. Water in the barn has not frozen yet, but outside it has. I got them one suit cake for wild birds when it started getting cold, just for a treat. Gave them half and then the other half a week later. I also added in some Ultra Kibble this past week and Stuart was eating it (I fed him some out of my hand to be sure) I just don't know. I feel so bad for him and wish I had tried to do something sooner. He was up and ate with his hens yesterday morning, and was delighted when I opened a can of green beans (canned veggies are a common treat here). And he was on the roost last night when I went to check on them. Then this morning I found him laying under it. Edit: His crop has a little in it, and it felt squishy on the sides. He was sitting in runny poop under the roost I think was his. So if you read this far, thank you. Any ideas what could be wrong or what I could do would be appreciated The three girls (Barred rock, one EE (3-4?) and other EE (6 1/2) Look ok right now. They are just stressed about Stuart.