11days old and establishing pecking order already?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by mrv19, Mar 19, 2016.

  1. mrv19

    mrv19 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have noticed a clear difference in personality in my 4 pullet chick flock the last 2 days. 1 chick is ALWAYS the first to roost on my arm, with a second close behind. If one of the other 2 tries to be first to roost they quickly get put in place. Now They wait their turns. The 1 that is always first has also begun chasing the others at times. Its not violent however and usually only lasts a moment before they resume their happy play . I noticed this new behavior in them in the last 2 days. Is this them establishing pecking order?
     
  2. littlelune810

    littlelune810 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Im curious as well one of my 6 chicks seems to be "in charge."
     
  3. dragonbird

    dragonbird Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I noticed a pecking order with my first five chicks last year, almost right away. One always bossed everyone around and gave everyone the stink eye-herded them where they wanted them....stayed that way too for the most part-but they all get along lovely. I'm working on my second batch that will be added to the flock and I have one bully-but it is way more than just a little pecking order pecking-it is a horrid chick that is eating everyone's eyeballs so she/he is separated for now. My little group of 10 (the brat makes 11) gets along great...when the brat is inside, it is mass hysteria.
     
  4. mrv19

    mrv19 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oh no:(...that's horrible hope she straightens out soon!
     
  5. mrv19

    mrv19 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Ive noticed the top chicks are the first to learn new things as well. Miss high and mighty figured out how to fly out of her brooder this morning
     
  6. dragonbird

    dragonbird Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Uh oh! haha! Hope she doesn't teach the others such bad habits! ;)
     
  7. TerryH

    TerryH Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Very interesting to us as chicken newbies that this sort of pecking order and/or bullying can start so young.

    Also interesting that chickens are so much like people. [​IMG]
     
  8. azygous

    azygous True BYC Addict

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    Haven't you noticed how many chicken metaphors we have in the English language? We even employ "pecking order" as a metaphor for human hierarchies.

    Back to chicks and reasons for one to appear dominant over the others. There can be several reasons why one seems to dominate the others. One is that the chick could be a cockerel. Their hormones can emerge even in these early weeks.

    Sometimes this behavior can be attributed to breed. Some breeds produce both pullets and cockerels that seem bossy and aggressive.

    Less common than those reasons, is temperament. Sometimes you get a chick that seems high strung and it will dominate all the others, even to the point, sometimes, of being a little thug. I've found that I can mitigate the behavior to a significant extent by giving the little tyrant a poke on the back when I see it being abusive to the others.

    Enjoy your babies! They aren't little for very long.
     
  9. Lelilamom

    Lelilamom Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Our first batch of chicks did this. "HideyGirl" was the first to fly up onto my shoulder and stay there for hours. She pecked others to keep food to herself, chased others around so she'd have all the best treats, roosting spot, etc. She is four years old now and is still my "Girl" and is first to run up to me and squat down to get petted. She roosts first, gets the treats first and is "Queen Bee" of the coop. No one messes with her.
     
  10. csaylorchickens

    csaylorchickens Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oh man I noticed pecking order right away only a few days old. The stronger hold the top while the weaker ones get picked on. But that can change over time. One hen does not remain alpha all the time. My two that are a year old now have changed pecking order. They had a battle royal a few weeks back I had to.separate the one challenging the lead hen when i.put her back my lead hen submitted and now she is the leader. Always evolving
     

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