Last evening I went to collect Gloria’s egg from the “nesting shelf” and found that it had been cracked again. So I decided to block off the shelf completely. If they are going to fight over a nesting place anyway, it should be in their coop; the eggs are much safer there.
This morning, I let them out and went for my usual walk, hoping to find Cleo nesting in the coop when I returned. Instead I came home to this:
She had flown to the top shelf! I figured it would be too high up there, and not roomy enough to lay, but she didn’t care. She wasn’t comfy enough to nest though, so I brought her down, and filled in the shelf more. Apparently not well enough, because a few minutes later I heard a crash. She had knocked some things off the shelf, and was up there again, even though there was only a tiny space now. So I brought her down once again, and completely filled the space with heavy buckets. I then scattered some food in front of their coop and waited for a few minutes watching them. Eventually, she went upstairs in the coop. I assumed she went up to nest, and went inside to take a shower. I was about to step into the shower when I heard Gloria squawking loudly. Not too unusual while Cleo is laying, but then Cleo started squawking back, which she never does while she’s laying. When I got out of the shower, I saw them both pecking in the yard again, and went out to the coop to check for an egg. There was none. After a bit, she went up again, but came down after a few more minutes… still no egg. Maybe she thought she was going to miss out on something; that Gloria would be nesting on the shelf in her absence. Then, right before I left for work, I saw her trying to fly up on the shelf again. The whole family watched out the window this time, somewhat amused at her attempts to balance up there on the edge of a box, flapping her wings. Eventually she had to give up and fly back down.
I REALLY hope that’s the end of it, and that I find 2 eggs safely in their coop tonight. Otherwise, I may have to take drastic measures and lock them in their coop tomorrow. I know this is all my fault for letting them nest on the shelf yesterday, and I take full blame for my part in this drama, but I just want things to go back to normal!