_So much has happened. the devastation. it breaks my heart._
When I went down this morning, the smallest of the reds was loose in its old turf and clearly on the prowl. While we humans were in the run, she ran at and dove at the buffs, who just ran around, headless, no defense. I held them in my lap for a while and on my shoulder. The smallest red was always the leader said Cristian. I agreed.
Realising the RIR didn't have a nestbox, cristian and i made makeshift nest boxes with plastic bins and the bedding, the chaff. The bigger red, who was alone in the far side immediately started nesting and pushing around the chaff and bin. We put the bins next to each other, only separated by a plastic curtain and they sadly kept diving down the crevice between their boxes in an effort to be near one another.
We left them alone to duke it out and we can hear them squabbling from upstairs. The Red under house arrest had made no egg yet but there was one we picked up during midnight adventures, it could have been hers.
In the afternoon, the large "Oppressed One" had already laid, ruling itself out. Red under house arrest, no egg.
When I came back at night to put them to bed, it was raining fat cold droplets ruining the street fair and outdoor movie night; the smallest red had mounted to the apex of their chicken house and sat, beady-eyed. I didn't realise they could fly so high. The two buffs were cowering in the corner on top of each other. Their cage door was propped open so there was no apparent reason why they couldn't make it inside their bed-box like every other night, promptly by 8:30pm. I lift them one by one inside. The smallest red had laid an egg and pushed all the chaff out of the nestbox. The single egg sat starkly against red plastic, freely rolling not cradled in chaff; it was clearly a political statement. The smallest red was unhappy with her living arrangements. I get the fat sharpie and draw lines on her exposed toes. She didn't like that any better but too catatonic to peck but once.
I do the same to the Big Oppressed Red, she doesn't peck nor protest, before I move her back into her run, in the box with her chaff nest, switching the buff's cage back into theirs. When I leave, the Big Oppressed Red left her box and was heading to her house, under the watchful gaze of the most high Red Chicken.
I check on the red under house arrest on my way out and she has not laid yet.
She has till dawn.