can pecking orders change when chickens start laying?


9 Years
May 8, 2012
jersey shore, nj
I have a strange question and I'm hoping someone can give me some advice. I have 5 hens, 2 approx. 1 year old, and 3 young ones about 5-6 months old. The two older ones are definitely the bosses of the younger ones. Out of the three younger ones, there is one that is at the top of their little group.

Last week one of the three young ones has begun to lay and the dynamics of the entire flock have changed.

The one that has begun to lay now hangs around with the two older girls. Up until she was laying, they used to peck at her. Now the one that was at the top of the little group of three young ones is getting pecked at by the two older ones and the one that just started laying.

Can the dynamics of a flock change when chickens start to lay?
The pecking order is an ever changing process. Those at the bottom are looking to improve their position, and those at the top are constantly looking to reinforce their position. Hormones and attitude are big factors in improving/maintaining position.
We thought we knew who the leader was before they started laying. Once they matured the least likely candidate became the dominant one. Unfortunately for the youngest one, even though she lays now she still gets pecked at by all the others
Intresting! I had no idea. I've only had chickens for a year and i continue to learn something about them daily. I'm so thankful for this forum and its members because it is an incredible resource.

Thanks everyone!

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