On Saturday, as The Man and I watched Hermione get into the barn via the closed front doors, I was unsure that was her only method of entry. The eastern door has been propped slightly open at the bottom of the door, and held open about 6 inches by some junk. I had seen Hermione studying this gap, and thought she might be getting in that way.
But, she was going in the front doors. Right?
So, I left the chickens out today when I went out to run errands, reasonably sure they’d be just as safe as when I am in the house. I left the front barn door slightly ajar, to allow Hermione and Maisie into the Nesting Annex. I did, however, close the two inner hallway doors.
The barn has a number of sliding doors, which compartmentalise the space. At the left far wall of the showroom, is the hallway which leads to the inside entrance of the coop. At the the right far wall, is the hallway which leads to the nesting boxes, which are accessed from outside the coop.
Still with me?
I closed the two hallway doors, so the chickens only had access to the showroom section of the barn. All exterior barn doors were closed, except for a small gap in the front doors.
I came home from my errands and went, as I do, to check for eggs. I looked in the Nesting Annex on my way through the showroom…empty. I opened the right hallway door to check the coop nesting boxes. Opened right nesting box lid…and found Haley sitting on…two eggs! Yay! A Coraline egg and a regular Alexis egg. Looks like that fart egg did, indeed, clear her pipes.
I looked over to the left nesting box, to find a Trixie egg. Thanks, Trixie!
Thing is, I could here a hen booping, and the sound was oddly immediate. So, I thought to look in the empty compartment next to the left nesting box. See below:
See that open box to the left? It’s exactly the same as the nesting boxes, except that it has no lid and is walled off from the coop proper. I was thinking to put a lid on it and open it up to the coop when we needed a broody nest.
THAT’S where I found Hermione, on the bare barn floor, amid the halves of plastic Easter eggs we had originally placed in the nesting boxes to show the girls what to do, but which they kept kicking out. She WAS getting in the eastern door…
I picked her up and transported her down the hallway to the Nesting Annex. She laid me a nice warm egg there not long thereafter. But, something made me go back to where she had been…sure enough, literally inside two halves of a plastic Easter egg, was a cold Hermione egg, laid who knows how many days ago. I opened up and it looks perfectly fine.
Needless to say, the eastern door is now closed and locked. Sorry, Hermione…