We're back to Stickam for this hatch:
Bad: We just lost one of our favorite hens, Beast, to some damned mystery illness that stumped us, our fellow chicken owner friends, AND our vet. Best he could say was that he thought it was something bacterial in nature. Seems no amount of Lasix and Baytril could save her, and the best I could do was to pet her, talk to her and be with her as she went. Meanwhile, Louise and Houdini, who caught it first and were deathly ill, have recovered and are fine.
This is extra depressing since yesterday Beast had turned a corner and was walking around the house, talking and eating up a storm on her own, we felt we just needed to fatten her up a bit and she'd be fine. :(
EDIT: We later realized that we had had a sudden infestation of weird black & orange caterpillars on our Curly Willow tree several days before the hens got ill. We knocked them down for the chickens, and only three hens had actually eaten any...Beast, who ate the most, and Louise and Houdini.
So yeah, poison caterpillars, it seems.