I have decided that I need to completely separate Flame and Vanilla to try to break their behaviour. I have been putting, each of them in turn, in the chicken shed and letting them out together a few times a day.
This means that while Vanilla is in the shed Flame will just sit on the patio outside the pop hole and when Flame is in the shed Vanilla spends all her time trying to get in. As soon as they are together they spend their time with Vanilla sitting underneath Flame. Neither of the girls are doing any of the normal chicken things and it is getting us nowhere.
I have decided to put Flame in the dog crate in the garden shed and leave Vanilla blocked out of the chicken shed.
As Sophie said in the comments you are meant to put the broody on the wire and prop the crate up on bricks to let the air circulate underneath and cool the broody. I have always disliked the idea of the girl being sat or stood on the wire. I have decided to line the metal tray with paper and put in a dish of mash and a dish of water. The mash makes less mess as pellets tend to get flicked around. The shed is cool anyway and even if at worst it doesn’t break Flame’s broodiness I hope that it will at least break Vanilla’s behaviour.
I prefer the girls to perch at night but last night, after dark, I lifted Vanilla to the amigos perch and Flame to her perch at the back of the shed. Every time I closed the door I would hear Flame drop back down to the floor of the shed. After the fourth time I had to leave her to it. Because of this I am going to leave Flame in the crate overnight in the shed which I will close and lock.
I feel that Flame needs complete separation for this to work. Once a day I will shut Vanilla in a nest box and put Flame in the run to get some exercise while leaving the chicken shed open so that Flame can see that Vanilla isn’t in there but for this first day I am going to leave Flame here all day.
I have no idea if this will work or how long it will take but I feel that I need to do something.
Flame has been very calm in the crate. She has eaten some mash and has been sitting preening.
In other news Smoke started laying again yesterday after her broody break of two weeks. Today She wanted to lay in the nest box that Ebony was in despite two other empty nest boxes. Ebony shouted at her and then relented and let her share the nest box.
Smoke and Ebony laid their eggs side by side. It is so good to have our best serama egg layer laying again.
I will post again tomorrow with news of how this is progressing. Fingers crossed.