But how to isolate one hen when there is only one nest box in use? Hmmmm, the other nest box is not in use....
Happily, the nest box was assembled with screws. I dismantled the unused upper nest box and extended the frame to support a 2x3 cage I had. This drew multiple feathery supervisors who made sure that everything was completed to their specifications.
I placed the cage in the support frame, added pine shavings, a nest box, food, and water.
So now I am ready for the big experiment. If Vo starts by laying shell-less eggs, but then starts laying hard eggs, then I will know that the pellet feed fixed her problem. If Vo continues to eat her eggs, I will know for sure it is her by the muck in her nest box.
After a little running around I got Vo into the coop, caught her, and placed her in the cage. Oh the chickeny consternation!
|Egg Eating Inmate|
She looked seriously perplexed. When I let the rest of the flock into the coop, they looked perplexed too, for about a minute. The only one to be really perturbed was Buffy, the alpha hen. She seemed angry that Vo was in a higher place than she was. If looks could kill....
Vo finished exploring her new digs and started munching on pellets. Buffy just kept giving me the stink eye.
Oh well, can't please everyone.
Update: I have started moving hens around based on whether they have laid their egg for the day. This way Vo gets out of jail and enjoys the relative freedom of the coop when the other two lay before her.
Update 2: Vo has taken on the mantle of Jailbird Chicken.