Recently, our hens developed a nasty habit: pecking open their own eggs. It's bad enough that Isabella is on permanent strike, and refuses to lay at all. When the hens started destroying eggs, it seemed like they were taunting us. "Go ahead," they were saying, "build a crazy over-the-top hen-house, feed us all sorts of gourmet chow. We'll reward you with no eggs at all."
I glared at the hens, and reminded them how fortunate they were that Robb and I were vegetarians. "Another flock might not be so lucky, and might have an appointment with the chopping block," I told them.
Robb took a less dire and more productive approach to all this. He followed some advice I'd gotten from an online knitting group (of course) and hung dark curtains around the nest-box. The thinking was that the hens would not peck what they could not see. Hens, after all, are pretty deficient in the brains department.
Remarkably, this worked right away. Something about sitting inside a curtain of fringed t-shirts must be particularly soothing to knuckledheaded chickens.
Even Isabella laid an egg this week.