Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Chicken Jail

One of my hens has started eating eggs. Wicked, wicked Vo!

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.


  1. What a BRAT! lol I haven't had egg eaters yet, thankfully, but I did have one that saw a hole in an egg that I had, quick grabbed it with her beak and took off like a bat out of hell! I'm glad she never caught on what exactly it was that she grabbed.

  2. I think I broke my hen of egg eating :) I confined her in a large dog crate I have in my porch. I watched her every time I saw her get ready to lay any egg (except one I missed) and if she went to peck it, I swatted her away. Then I gave her her breakfast and when she ignored the egg, I took it away. When she stopped going for the egg, I let her back out with the flock and she hasn't eaten an egg :)

  3. So far, so good. (Knock on wood) No egg-eaters here. Hope you solve your problem.

  4. Nice! I accidentally have a quarantine set up. The pullets are coming in 6 weeks. Good luck on the evil egg eating chicken! Thanks for sharing.