5 month old hen possessive of eggs.... Everybody's eggs!

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Alys

Chirping
9 Years
Oct 13, 2012
26
1
82
Orlando, Florida
At first, I thought Chocolate, a (suspected) Black Australorp might be getting broody, but her behavior doesn't seem to match.

She's my lowest producer, laying around 4 a week. Her coop mate Pepper, BR, lays 5-6 a week and her other buddy Cinnamon, Red Comet, lays 7/week, often with a double yolker in that output.

Her vocalizations have changed from her deep, loud "Bok Bok" to something that is much quieter and sounds like soap bubbles popping. And rather than a squawk she's making a trilling scream.

When she is in the nest, she is IN THE NEST. it's like she's in a nest-coma... You can almost see the ticker running around her head: nest... Nest... Nest...
She doesn't seem angry when i go in, more confused. If either of the other two girls have laid an egg, their eggs are under Chocolate. If Chocolate is in the nest and one of the other girls wants to lay, she lets them in. They have three boxes, but all three use the same one. I guess one day she didn't let Pepper in the nest, be be because I found her in another box on her and Pepper's eggs. Since then she either shares or steps out and STARES until the other girl is done.

If there are eggs in the nest, Chocolateis sitting on them. She fluffs up, fans out her tail and screams at me jamming her rear end up into the corner, but I pick her up, fluffed, rigid, take the eggs and put her back on the nest. If she has nothing to add to the nest, a few minutes later she's out and about in the garden.

Any feathers in the nest are Chocolate's.
When she's out and about she's generally on her own now, not with the other two.
She still squats for me.
Every now and then she postures like a Tom turkey (tail fanned forward, wings dropped) and makes her new scream.

We had to make a spur of the moment road trip, leaving the girls cooped-up from bed-time Saturday until 4pm Monday afternoon. (The HORROR! They usually free-range the garden every day) and obviously nobody had collected Sunday and Monday's eggs. I wasn't quite correct in my prediction of how I'd find the girls: Cinnamon and Pepper at the door trying to squeeze through the wire and Chocolate sitting on 6 eggs. Chocolate was on 5 eggs.

Chocolate being weird in her nest:
400


I access the nests via a solid trap-door, that's why the box looks open. It's not.

Any thoughts on her?
 

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