Myfanwy the hen, daughter of Charles the cockerel, has become a chronic egg eater. I tried breaking her of this unforgiveable vice by shutting her in the aviary (which we've nicknamed Egg-xsile) for a fortnight. Time served, I let her out, and she proceeded to eat the 6 Silkie eggs I put under a broody hen. As a malefactor and repeat offender she was facing two options: a trip to the log pile or specs.
Yes, chicken spectacles.
They are little plastic blinders that clip into the nostrils (they don't pierce the septum). The specs block the bird's forward vision which prevents egg eating, feather pecking and cannibalism (ewww...) They're commonly used for pheasants although we don't use them here, preferring smaller stocking rates and access to outdoor pens to alleviate boredom - the main cause for such vices.
She has peripheral vision, so she's able to free range about. Spec'd birds forage less but can feed from feeders without a problem. And she can dustbathe, wander, visit with her friends. No more Eggs-xile, no logpiles.
If she mends her ways, or after peak egg laying season (whichever comes first), I'll remove her specs and we will see if she's a rehabilited bird. It's Raising Arizona, but with chickens:
Me: They've got a name for people like you Myfanwy That name is called "recidivism."
Mike: Repeat offender!
Me: Not a pretty name, is it Myfanwy?
Myfanwy: No, sir. That's one bonehead name, but that ain't me any more.
Me: You're not just telling us what we want to hear?
Myfanwy: No, sir, no way.
Mike: 'Cause we just want to hear the truth.
Myfanwy: Well, then I guess I am telling you what you want to hear.
Me: Boy, didn't we just tell you not to do that?
Myfanwy: Yes, sir.
Me: Okay, then.