We have had our 4 bantams for about 2 months now. I love these quirky ladies and their very different personalities.
They are free range in a large enclosure (if that makes sense) with a shed that holds the nesting boxes (that they don't use) and the roosts. The two bigger bantams Betty and Roseanna sleep in there at night, but for some reason the two younger ones Clementine (white) and Sunday (grey) choose to roost in one of the peach trees, same branch every single night. Even with all the rain we have had they won't go in the coop.
Betty and Roseanna are bossy and there is most definitely a pecking order so I wonder if this has something to do with it. I'm worried though once the cold weather comes if they will be ok on their branch. With Autumn here now and the leaves falling their lovely peach tree is now looking a little bare.
They are fussier eaters than I thought they would be when it comes to kitchen scraps, but after a bit of online reading I see that this is often the case with free range chickens who have access to lots of grass, weeds and bugs. They get a good mix of grains, pellets and corn and love bread and apples, but not the skins.
I have also weeded a large patch that they spend their days dust bathing in and they get quite territorial about their spots. Or if Betty wants a certain spot she goes and gives whoever is laying there a good peck until they move, bossy cow.
Roseanna is the champion egg layer. And hides in the asparagus patch to lay her eggs. They have never used the nesting boxes. I was thinking about using the golf ball trick, have you tried it and does it work?
They always lay their eggs in the afternoon, I always thought they did this in the morning.........maybe I've seen this too many times in movies!
Chicken/bantam lovers and owners - I have some questions that I would love answered.
Are my two girls ok sleeping outside on their branch at night?
Any ideas on how to get them into the coop?
What type of coop (roosting) do you have?
How often do you feed your chooks, Mr H thinks I overfeed them?
Do you recommend any tried and well liked foods?
Any hints/tips you would like to share?