Well, these have been some of our personal observations and/or conclusions about our particular Ams. These are just our observances from our friend's and our Ameraucana hens (and some EEs). Can't say anything about the roos since we don't have those.
o - Our hens are so docile/timid that they prefer non-confrontational encounters with other flockmates, sometimes to the point of being reclusive or remaining a loner. We noticed the hens with increasing age became more submissive toward other breeds and care nothing about being top hen. Yet the same timid Am will chase a stray cat out of the yard and inspire the rest of the flock en mass to join in the fun.
o - Exceptionally hyper, very readily spooked by noises like flapping tarps, dry leaves blowing across the ground, a hummingbird, a floating mylar balloon, skittish to the point of running continuously until they run into something that stops them - unlike most other breeds that might spook for an instant but then seem to calm down straightaway.
o - We noticed other breeds go to roost and seem undisturbed by our presence. However our Am will stay awake and alert until we close the pop-door for the night. The slightest disturbance we make, like opening the nestbox lid, will promptly put our Ams on immediate alert from their deep slumber. This breed is hyper even when its at roost! We call them the sentinels of our flocks because they are such light sleepers. Other breeds will murmur if disturbed yet not move. The Am on the other hand not only murmurs but instantly stands up. We still aren't sure if Ams wake up because they are friendly birds and are happy to see us or if they are just hyper-alert birds in general responding majorly to the slightest disturbances.
o - We noticed our Ams had the tendency to perch on the narrowest wire and balance perfectly. Other heavier hen breeds of ours would try the balancing act and give up right away but our Ams tenaciously balanced on a thin wire for the longest time - why? We have no idea - just weird birds? Or else they know other breeds won't try it and they know they can remain alone? Who knows? This ability to hang on thin wire with those long toes of theirs is what saved 2 of our friend's birds from a dog attack - out of their 5 hens the 1 EE and 1 Am managed to escape capture and death by hanging on the top kennel run walls with their long toes which saved their lives from the jumping mutt but the other 3 breeds of hens were mercilessly mauled. Maybe all those Am/EE wire-balancing agility exercises were in preparation for future predator attack escapes?
o - Our friend's and our Ams/EEs have gained our trust and readily take treats from our hand, let us touch and pet them, and even allow us to easily pick them up (in the judge's hold) but as soon as another breed approaches the Ams/EEs will bolt. They just don't like, don't trust, don't want to chance confrontation with a flockmate? We don't know. They like us however and that endears them to us. We had Leghorns that would take treats from us and would perch on our arm or lap to take treats but they evaded human touch. The Am once she trusts you will allow human touch. The trust built gradually with the Am and she could easily bolt from us if she wanted to but she will stay still for us to touch/pet her where it was never possible with any of the Legs. We never chase any of our hens to "catch" them or use those hideous chicken nets. We always use a slow steady pace walking behind them softly saying "shoo, shoo" in low tones and herd them back to their run. When they hear us just say "shoo" they already start meandering on their own back to the run.
o - Some of us have had bad luck with production from our Ams/EEs. Our Am only gave 3 eggs her 2nd year, and our friend's have an EE that stopped laying completely her 2nd year. As poor as these hens were for laying none of us have the heart to re-home them. It's that darn sweet friendly personality of theirs that tug at the heart and keep us from giving them away or sending them to the freezer. I never had qualms of getting rid of (I mean "re-homing" - LOL) the mean or aggressive hens but somehow the non-producing Amer has been spared a similar fate. Our friend didn't have the heart to re-home their non-laying young EE either because the bird was so gentle and sweet.
o - As a flock Ams are kind nurturing birds because of their non-combative temperament and they accept orphaned chicks or injured birds in the flock where other breeds would not be so willing. We have added different breeds to our flock since owning an Amer and she accepts the presence of a new bird in the flock (after the gradual introduction through a fenced barrier first, of course). The other breeds will keep their distance from the newest flockmate or try to intimidate her but the Amer will leave her completely alone. There is no confrontational temperament in Am/EEs so far that we've noticed in our birds. Now we've heard of all-Am or all-EE flocks having an alpha hen which is expected of any all-hen flock but nothing overly peckish or brutal in the pecking order. I can only go on hearsay for this but knowing how mild our Am/EEs are we have no reason to doubt it.
o - We have discovered that there might need to be peculiar additions to the diet of Ams possibly requiring such foods as sweet potatoes, seafood (ours loves cooked shrimp), cranberries (we use Craisins), turmeric, corn, and quinoa. Don't know if this research is correct but have read that this is the type of food available to the breed's origins in South America so we offer these to our Am and she seems to go for it. Our Silkies are big fans of cooked brown rice and our Am goes for it too (over the rice we very lightly sprinkle turmeric, Brewer's yeast, and bee pollen for extra vitamin B's). Of all our hens the Am is the only fan of the light-colored sweet potatoes (not so much the orange yams). Our Am is the fussiest eater of our breeds. She keeps herself on a very light diet. She never gets a heavy crop and I worry she's too thin (of course her fluffy feathers make her look bigger and heavier than she actually is) but she still lives so I guess she knows what nutrition she needs.
o - One thing that disturbed me was how sporadic our Am molts. She starts molt, stops for a while and then molts one or two times more with exploding feathers in the yard or in the coop. Someone shared that it is not unusual for Ams to have this style of stop/start molting but having to replace the protein to grow new feathers could be a good explanation of why egg-production is low in this breed. I'm going to order Feather Fixer for the next episode of molting to help with the nutritional replacement molting birds need. I mean, every other breed I've had will molt once for the year and they're done, but our Am starts and stops and starts again and it is disconcerting. But once I was assured this is not unusual I didn't stress as much.
o - Stubborn is the word I use for our Am girl. Of all our breeds she is the only one that refused to walk in her chicken diaper and just sat around and moped all day refusing to eat or drink. Even our Leghorns had no problem adjusting to walking around with a chicken diaper. But not our Am. These girls seem to want to do things their own way and in their own time. We bought some Brite Tap nipple valve waterers to offer clean drinking water to our flock over the dirty water bowls that had to be cleaned a couple times each day. All the other breeds caught on quickly to use the valve waterers but not our Am. It took her 8 days to finally trust getting a drink from the Brite Tap. She will learn and do things in her own way in her own timing. It took the other breeds a day to learn how to go up and down the new chicken ladder but she insisted for several days to fly up and fly down from the pop-door before she trusted the ramp enough to use it like the other chickens did. She's a very careful, cautious breed that doesn't take anything for granted like the other breeds. Cautious, wary, careful, alert, distrusting - must be all the qualities that make for a predator-savvy breed?
o - One thing that was a big negative for me is that I ordered 3 purebred juvenile Am's (not chicks) shipped from different breeders in the last couple years and 2 out of 3 juvies died within 2 weeks of arrival. Hasn't been a hardy track record of the breed for me. I had 2 Blue Wheatens and 1 Blue and only our one B/W Am (my avatar) survived.
o - Another major negative for me was how climate sensitive our Am is. She is not a happy camper in heatwaves. While the Silkies are busily foraging in a heatwave, she is sitting in a damp hole under the Orbit Mister panting like crazy. Yet on a rainy day she is a happy clam letting the water roll off her back as she looks for worms. Our humid SoCal heatwaves is not a good climate for her.
Some Am owners might consider these characteristics as positives and some might think these are negatives. Some might never have seen these characteristics in their own Ams. These are just the unusual, peculiar, puzzling, or sometimes wonderful things we observed about our purebred Ams (and EEs). I will probably never get another Am because of the unusual quirks and poor track record for me with Ams but I don't regret experiencing how incredibly sweet and docile this breed is.