Chicken hiererarchy

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by seafood, Jul 8, 2008.

  1. seafood

    seafood Songster

    Feb 12, 2008
    We have 10 chickens that are about 16 weeks old. A mixed flock of Br. Leghorns, BO, BR, and one Jersey Giant.

    One of the BO turned out to be a roo. One of the Br. Leghorns is currently under debate as to whether it is a roo or hen.

    I have been curious to figure out the heirerarchy that exists in my flock. Everyone says there is a pecking order among the hens with the roo running the whole show.

    The BO roo is the nicest of them all. He is super friendly and loves my 5 yr old daughter. He doesnt crow, isnt aggressive, nothing crazy at all. He doesnt show or display and domineering tactics over his girls.

    What kind of things should I look for among the hens to determine who is the "Queen"? Roosting patterns arent too decernable. One leghorn has managed to get about 5 feet higher than the regular roost and gets up on a barn timber. She is there every night. One of the BR's is very friendly with one of our goats. Eating bugs off her and grooming her all the time. Even sitting on her.

    Any ideas on what to watch for would be great.
  2. seafood

    seafood Songster

    Feb 12, 2008
    Have I been blacklisted from this website? Why does noone respond to my posts?

    Seriously. This place is FULL of people with lots of knowledge and info who love everything chicken! Yet noone...not ONE has anything to say in response to my post???????????????????????????
  3. Queen Scoot

    Queen Scoot Crochet Chieftess

    May 27, 2008
    give it some time its still early. [​IMG]
  4. newchickmom

    newchickmom Songster

    Nov 8, 2007
    Lafayette, Indiana
    That is about the age my roo started "bossing" the hens around. He will break up fights, call the girls when he finds a juicy bug and tells them when there is danger and to run into the coop.
    Just sit and watch them for a while and you will start noticing all kinds of things, like which hen bosses the others around and which is the roo's favorite.
    Have fun! [​IMG]
  5. pixiechick

    pixiechick Songster

    May 23, 2008
    Jonesborough, TN
    One of my EEs is always quick to put the others in their place. She chases after them but never has to peck because they stop whatever she's after them about. However, she also seems to mother my buff silkie (they are all the same age). When my silkie, who is the sweetest but not too clever, gets lost or left behind, the EE usually goes back and helps her out. I figure she's the top of the pecking order.
  6. Wildsky

    Wildsky Wild Egg!

    Oct 13, 2007
    I can't tell in my flock who is the QUEEN.

    They all do their own thing, get along fine, eat together - RUN when they catch a bug. Get annoyed with each other now and then.

    I'm not sure its something I NEED to know. I also think the top position changes often. Just not something I've bothered to try figure out - in the whole scheme of things, it doesn't really matter.
  7. My ten silkies will be getting along just fine, and then go through phases of all out cat fights for position. i have a couple that always avoid a fight, others that will hop into the fray if it looks like they may get a leg up in the pecking order. Then Dusty will come barreling in and beat the crud out of everyone. It's funny because she is one of the tiniest ones. But NO ONE messes with her.

    Buffy Jr. used to be on the very bottom, and then one day realized she could pick on Diana and get away with it. Diana is a loner and always avoids a fight. So she starts chasing Diana around, pecking her mercilessly. i finally had to put Buffy J in time out.

    It's interesting to just sit and watch because things do change every day. You'll have to let us know who ends up being Queen, realizing that it may only be Queen For A Day.
  8. seafood

    seafood Songster

    Feb 12, 2008
    We have named all of of chickens after female characters from The Sopranos.

    We have Carmela (the Jersey Giant)
    Gloria, Adrianna, and Valentina La Paz (BR's)
    Janice, Meadow, and Charmaine (Brn. Leghorns)
    Dr. Melfi, Sewy and Clarabelle (BO's)

    Daughters named the last two so they have no relation so the Sopranos.

    Clarabelle has since been changed to Clarence due to our belief it is a Roo...although now that is in question.

    Right now Gloria rules the roost. She dominates everyone and it is easily seen when we drop in a watermelon or cantelope wrine and she gets first dibs.
  9. Lea71

    Lea71 Songster

    I've been somewhat facinated lately trying to figure out who is the 'top' girl in my bunch but I can't narrow it down. They all seem to bump chests with each other and my itty bitty, runt BR definitely holds her own....she is surprisingly not the lowest man on the totem pole. That honor goes to my sweet Rosey, the one EE chick I hand picked out of the box of hundreds...they must know she's special. [​IMG] The poor thing just stands there with her neck raised up letting the other chickens pull her feathers out under her chin and neck....the bare spot seems kind of crusty to me....I just want to moisturize it for her. [​IMG]
    She tends to be a loner....poor Rosey.
  10. BJ

    BJ Songster

    Mar 20, 2007
    We have a big ladder that I finally stuck in with the 4 week 6 weeks, the top of the pecking order goes to the top of the ladder, and on down to the bottom. Has anyone else experienced this? It is really quite interesting. The "higher ups" want to be the highest up!!

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