This is going to be a long post, so please bear with me as I explain. Two weeks ago I purchased three hens from a breeder on Craigs List. He needed to make more space for his specialty birds for the winter. One barred rock ( Roxy ) one RIR ( Laverne ) one NH Red ( Shirley ). Their first week here consisted of getting used to me ( the bringer of treats ) and being confined as they were used to free ranging at their old place. Everything was going well as they were negotiating their pecking order. It looked like Laverne was going to be the top hen. She was bigger than all the rest. Then things changed. She no longer wanted to roost with the others at night. She wanted to sleep in the nesting box. She waited until last to enjoy the treats I brought out for them when I got home from work. I suspected something was wrong, but was not sure. I noticed Roxie picking on her and pulling out her tail feathers. Roxie was scolded. Well, last night, Laverne died. I quickly removed her from the coop this morning when I went out there. The other two are not in the least bit disturbed by the event. I let them out when I got home to dig around in the garden for a half hour while the sun was setting. They both were estatic about getting out to do their thing. Full of Pi** and vinigar as my mom used to say. Roxie went in first and made a jump for the roost and missed, so she went into the nesting box. Then Shirley went in and hopped up on the roost. We tried to coax Roxie out of the nesting box with goodies to no avail. She is sleeping in there tonight. She has not done this since the first night in their new home. She has always slept on the roost in between the other two. I wonder if she will end up like Laverne. Is she starting to do what Laverne did? I'm not sure why she is doing this. She seems much more vibrant than Laverne was. Lice and the likes are not a problem. I have DE everywhere. I wonder what is going on and why she is in the nesting box tonight. Argh!