Hen Hierarchy

By granmahen, Jan 11, 2012 | |
  1. granmahen
    I can't help but notice what's going on in the coop. Four hens and each has her own place in the family.We have Henny, the bossy (rir); Liddy, the teacher (leghorn); Lucy, the brave (nhr) and Lilly, the meek and loving (australorpe). In the beginning we had two, a new hampshire red and a black australorp. They got along well and the nhr seemed to be in charge even though they were the same age. When they were three months old, we introduced into the group a rhode island red and a white leghorn who were 4 months old. At the beginning, the leghorn took over leading the flock. She lead by example. Liddy was first to try new treats, first to fly up to the high roost; when I switched waterers, she showed the others how to use it, first to lay an egg in the nest instead of on the ground. But slowly yet surely, the rir is taking over. Henny now butts the others out of her way to get first dibs on treats, she lays first in the morning, she's the loudest. Funny thing, she's not necessarily the biggest. No, the new hampshire is the biggest and the boldest. She's the one who will peck my foot (she has drawn blood) if I don't dominate her first by petting her. She'll rush the door and actually got out once which is a no no because we live in the city (no loose chickens allowed), and she is the only one who will defer to Henny without backing down. Then there is sweet hen-pecked Lilly. I read australorps do get picked on because they are so nice and that bears out in the coop. She heads for the water and Henny cuts her off at the pass. The food, same thing. She even lays her egg last each day. Yet I see a little self-respect and pride there, too. When I throw in a grasshopper or catapiller, Lilly will 9 out of 10 times get the bug. She's a hunter and very quick. I can't help but cheer for this sweet gentle giant. Anyway, I can just sit and watch the shenanegins out in the coop all day long and that's where I'm headed right now. See ya!
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