These girls have been in their laying boxes for much of the week. Our egg production has gone from 5-6 a day to half that. Yesterday we attempted "the chicken shuffle" as a remedy. I was outside all day doing some spring cleaning and when a non-broody hen approached the egg box, I let her in and shooed off the broody girls. This worked for a time, but required constant attention. So this morning at 6am, Adam and I greeted the 29 degree pale-sunshine air with a plan, of sorts. After reading several other blogs about how to deal with this problem (Our go-to is the Chicken Chick, who has a fantastic blog), we decided to save the $300 that a rabbit hutch would cost and dug around in our shed to see what we could piece together. We found a dog kennel from when Wilson was a pup, some spare wood, and spare hardware cloth.
Apparently, these brooding girls need to be eased out from their hormonal trance by separating them from the others and providing a boring, cool, light, and drafty. . . . what's the word. . . .prison. Thus, they are sentenced to a maximum security life for the next week or so until they stop growling. That's right, growling. They have gone from my sweet, sweetie-pie girls to nasty, growling, edgy crazies who have the single focus of hatching an egg.