Brave pullet? Future flock leader?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by sawilliams, Nov 23, 2015.

  1. sawilliams

    sawilliams Chillin' With My Peeps

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    So I have 2 10 week pullets, 2 6 month pullets 1 6 month hen and 1 old age un known hen.

    The issue is one of the 2 10week old is rather brave. Mildred the oldest is currently head hen and makes her place very known. Henrietta or second layer is also second in command. But brown runner one of the 10 week pullets is rather strong willed at this piont. She doesn't back down when pecked at and will infact peck back. And this morning I was feeding them food scraps. I watched her first take scars from marshall (her adoptive pullet mom) and Betty who is 6 months. With both I though no big deal becuase one is mom that other is submissive. But then brown runner stole a piece straight from mildred's beak... none of the others would even try this much less get away with such disrespect. But it is beginning to look like this little 10w old had no issue challengin her elders... is this normal?
     
  2. Percheron chick

    Percheron chick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sounds like it could be a cockerel.
     
  3. sawilliams

    sawilliams Chillin' With My Peeps

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    [​IMG][​IMG]

    So that's brown runner and below is her sister same age road runner. Unless I should expect some really major changes soon neither have been changing to much rather then size since we got them 4 weeks ago[​IMG][​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2015
  4. sawilliams

    sawilliams Chillin' With My Peeps

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    [​IMG]

    Here is another of brown runner that I just took. She and road runner are still currently about the same size and their combs are very similar in color and small size as well. However, even going out to get this picture marshall (the adopted mom) and road runner were sitting in front and jumped and ran when Mildred neared them, but brown runner stayed in place even as milderd passed right beside her
     
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2015
  5. sawilliams

    sawilliams Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Bump


    I just really don't think brown runner is a cockerel
     
  6. Chicken girl 15

    Chicken girl 15 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Looks like a pullet and just might be your flock queen soon. As long as she just breaks fights up and not beats everyone up all is fine. Age doesn't establish pecking order attitudes do. My flock leader is a 6 month white leghorn with wry tail named Crooked. She runs the show followed closely by a huge 7 month old production red named Bertha who enforces everything Crooked says, no questions. I have 20 birds in total 18 pullets and 2 cockerels.
     
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  7. sawilliams

    sawilliams Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank you it just seems so odd becuase she is so young. I did expect Mildred to be head hen at least for a while. I've been currently watching as Marshall the adoptive mom has started challenging the #2 more recently. I expected that as well since betty is most docile and there for last. I have noticed of course the youngest fall in line closest to thier mother hens, I would guess untill maturity. It's just that I would have expected a progression of challenging up the chain rather then going straight for the leader. Especially at such a young age.

    Good thing is no one currently picks on anyone and I hope that won't change. But I have been no citing this pay week maybe long brown runner is definitely going to fight for lead
     
  8. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Semantics, but.....anything under a year old is either a pullet or a cockerel, over a year they become hens and cocks.

    Did you get all these birds at the same time?
    or.....were the younger ones hatched by the older one?
    or....??

    Pecking order can change...grabbing food can happen outside of pecking order.
     
  9. sawilliams

    sawilliams Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Milderd (lead hen) the oldest was a stray my sister had found we brought her home about 2 weeks before the others. The other 5 are all pullets 3 were 4-6 months and 2 were 5-7 weeks. Henrietta (second in command) might have been the only one laying before the move. Marshall and Betty from what I can guess have not started laying yet. Road runner and brown runner were actually mostly playing on thier own without a mother hen, and where adopted by marshall with in a few days after the move. Betty and Marshall co parented for a few days while they all adjusted.

    Pecking order so far hasn't been an issues in the flock, except when someone trys to sleep or sit to close to Mildred's spot, only Henrietta is allowed to be that close. Milderd calls then to wake up, and calls them to bed in the evening, she even stands out side the coop door as if doing her own head count. While Henrietta goes in to make sure everyone is where they should be (ie not in mildred's place).

    In the 4 weeks or more we have had all 6 girls things have been smooth, other then mildred's place at night. She squawks they jump, she walks they move. She wants the food they get out of the way. This is all except the one brown runner refuses to jump up, move over, or give in to mildred's demands. I have even caught marshall trying to push brown runner out of the way to comply with mildred.

    There are just a lot of things I watch brown runner do regularly, that any of the others don't even try or if they have got put back in their places very quick. Brown runner escapes disipline, or fights back rather then listening. Taking food was just the one I saw yesterday. She refuses to move for mildred. Even just sitting in the grass she simple won't react like any of the others. And at night I have found most of the roost spot squabbles are Mildred and brown runner, becuase brown runner won't move and will fight back. I have even watched brown runner peck Henrietta and Mildred out of the way for treats. It can be sort of a tense moment becuase all the others seem to follow a basic set of yard rules but brown runner is just out to upset that order. Brown runner is definitely trying to make her self know.

    I guess all in all it will just be a matter of observing them and making sure things stay mostly peaceful through the impending changes in flock order.

    I did notice last night mildred had a bruise and blood spot on her comb last night, I can't say who or what might have got her, but at least it was just a small spot
     
  10. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    There will always be one bird pecking another, some are more aggressive, but it's normal behavior.
    If you watch closely the pecked on one will squawk and maybe run off but go back to her usual business.
    Nothing to worry about unless copious amounts of blood are drawn or if one is getting pinned down and beaten unceasingly.
     

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