I am glad to report that the chickens are learning and not getting more difficult. When we first put them in the coop the would huddle on the floor or under the roost perches. Now at 10 weeks old they seem to have gotten the hang of it and almost all are all perching up off the floor at night.
They also were let outside for the first time in their fully enclosed run to investigate and scratch for food and bugs. The copper marans and olive eggers were, and still are the boldest of the group and had no hesitation to go outside. The other easter eggers, ameraucanas and barred rocks I had to shove out the big door and lock everyone outside for a few hours. The next day I would just prop open the big door and let them do whatever they wanted. The third day I only opened the small chicken door and let them use only that. To help them come out I took dried mealworms and coaxed them out and put treats on the ramp outside to show them it was ok and it worked.
Little Miss Prissy is an Ameraucana chicken. But what we have realized is that she is a bantam which is just a small version. She will always be small and that is awesome that we got her to make our small flock so diverse. We have found the Ameraucanas to be the quietest and friendliest of the 5 different breeds. Miss Prissy is doing well and her group of 6 seem to protect her well when the others chase her. She also keeps a keen eye out and runs early before she can get confronted, and runs to hide under her bigger flockmates. So far there has been no bloodshed from pecking or anything, and it seems that they have enough room to sort it out.
This week I have also picked up a jar of large ants from our property. I’ve taken them to the flock and spread out a white feed sack and dropped one or two ants at a time to see if they would eat them. Some people say their chickens don’t eat them. Mine LOVE ants and were so eager they were pecking at the sides of the glass jar because I was not feeding them fast enough. We have ants here so this is great for both us and the chickens!
Check in next week as I have built a custom-made, special nesting box for the chickens! I hope they will know what to do when they are ready to lay eggs for us!