We learned that putting their water dish on a block of wood helps keep it cleaner. The girls like to kick up lots of dirt and mulch. They have a perch made out of a fallen tree limb, and they like to hop on and off for fun. Bucky is on the left, and she has some reddish feathers on her chest and lots of iridescent green feathers on the rest of her. Amadeus has black and white speckled feathers and is much smaller than Bucky. They are both really sweet, but Bucky seems to be the "leader." If she hops on the hay bales, Amie follows; if she eats, Amie eats; if she gets in the nesting box, Amie stays close by.
Today's snack time favorites are bell pepper innards, cucumbers, spinach, and Mexican rice. They only get rice or pasta occasionally, and they will scarf down the spinach first. Dandelion greens are their favorite, but they are hard to find these days.
Their food dish is hanging, and though they nibble from it a little bit, they spend most of their time scratching and pecking for treats on the ground. We tried different ground covering, and a mulch base seems to work best. We tried cedar shavings, and they refused to put their feet on the ground the first time they saw it. They worked tirelessly until they scratched it all away and uncovered the mulch again.
The girls usually lay their eggs in the nesting boxes, but we've found eggs hidden in other corners, and even our dog has learned how to hunt and gather them. He will bring them out of the coop, covered with doggie slobber but unbroken, if he finds them before we do. We get one egg apiece each day now, after a couple of months with none, and then a couple of months with eggs every other day. After one incident when Amie ate an egg, I've been mixing oyster shell in with their grit, which seems to be just what they needed--their egg-laying is more regular, and the eggs are bigger.
The girls like to stand on the hay bales to see what's going on outside, and they like to pull straw out and run around with it like they are showing off a prize worm. The hay bales also make a nice place to sit when a little chicken therapy is needed.