A good side to the pecking order?

ckhd

Chirping
Sep 17, 2018
32
61
85
St. Johns, AZ
I was in my yard watching my cockerel and my pullet (the two on the very bottom of the pecking order). They were about 20 feet away from the rest of the flock looking for tasty eats. A pigeon decides he wants to eat in the same area.

The cockerel isn't going to have it. He goes after the pigeon with an intent to kill, said pigeon flies away looking for easier eats.

Several minutes later, one of those little whatever birds gets the same idea. The cockerel runs it off the first time, but the little bird is persistent. The pullet then spends the next 1 1/2 to 2 minutes chasing this little bird until it decides the meal is not worth it and flies away.

Maybe a part of the pecking order is running off food competitors. What do you think?
 

chickengeorgeto

Crowing
7 Years
Dec 25, 2012
8,047
4,200
431
Big Bend of the Tennessee River's Right Bank.
I was in my yard watching my cockerel and my pullet (the two on the very bottom of the pecking order). They were about 20 feet away from the rest of the flock looking for tasty eats. A pigeon decides he wants to eat in the same area.

The cockerel isn't going to have it. He goes after the pigeon with an intent to kill, said pigeon flies away looking for easier eats.

Several minutes later, one of those little whatever birds gets the same idea. The cockerel runs it off the first time, but the little bird is persistent. The pullet then spends the next 1 1/2 to 2 minutes chasing this little bird until it decides the meal is not worth it and flies away.

Maybe a part of the pecking order is running off food competitors. What do you think?

If the pecking order was not about hogging all the vittles or other resources, then why do the good folks on this forum always advise that you maintain multiple feed and watering stations to help those chickens unfortunate enough to find themselves huddled at the bottom of the pecking order.

If you can go out and spread a little shelled corn on the ground in and amongst 100 or so hens and pullets you will quickly get a good idea about how in the chicken world those who can, rule and those who are incapable of ruling must learn to live with it.
 

oldhenlikesdogs

Grateful
BYC Staff
Premium Feather Member
5 Years
Jul 16, 2015
45,528
79,432
1,462
Wisconsin
Since they are younger birds there might be a bit of play to the behavior as well. I watch my young ones a week ago chasing a blue Jay that apparently was having fun dive bombing them. They were all under the spruce trees. It looked like play behavior to me on all their parts. There was lots of extra leaps and circle running. Made me laugh. :)
 

ckhd

Chirping
Sep 17, 2018
32
61
85
St. Johns, AZ
Hadn't thought of the play side of it. It just looked to me that the "pecking order" and "resource guarding" both looked exactly like chasing a smaller/weaker bird away from their stuff/space...
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
Premium Feather Member
8 Years
Nov 27, 2012
96,641
130,472
1,807
SW Michigan
My Coop
My Coop
Hadn't thought of the play side of it. It just looked to me that the "pecking order" and "resource guarding" both looked exactly like chasing a smaller/weaker bird away from their stuff/space...
They are ...kinda.....depends on if the bird chased away is part of the flock or not.
 

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