ALL they had to do was lay an egg while I was in the garden so I could evaluate each chicken's reaction to it. This was not easy. Saturday and Sunday, I watched while working. I found one egg under the tree but didn't see who laid it. Since Effie was in her "time out" cage, she didn't bother it, but neither did the 3 who were still out. This gave me a clue that she was still my #1 culprit.
|The "time-out" pen now has a cover as the rains have returned.|
When Effie was allowed into the coop Sunday night, she made a beeline for the nestbox and delivered one. I guess she doesn't like her personal nestbox in the separate pen. It sat there a while before we brought it in, but she didn't try to eat it. Maybe she knows which are HER eggs?
Last night, one of them left an egg under the roost bar that had no shell. Steve saved it before going to bed. So, I had to wait until today to find out the truth.
I left them all out together and continued my watching. Dede left an egg under the tree again. Bebe wandered over 3 times and looked at but didn't touch it. Cici looked at it, too, but didn't go over to it.
I waited for Effie to make a move.... any move. It took hours because she wouldn't leave the coop. She just kept looking for an something (an egg?) in the nestbox. Finally, I pulled a chair up and just sat by the tree. And it paid off. Effie finally left the coop and wandered over to see what I was doing. As she passed the tree, she looked under it and saw the egg. She jumped into the hollow and got 3 pecks onto the egg before I could yank her away. Criminals.... look for witnesses before committing your crimes.
So, I have my evidence and now we need to decide on the punishment. Steve is still vacillating between death and giving her away. I know he doesn't want to eat her, either. I do, but only because I can't see wasting money. I also don't think that keeping her segregated until she dies as any alternative.
We'll do some major thinking and get back to you.....