Chicks and pecking order


7 Years
Apr 6, 2012
Adirondack Park, NY
I have 2 little chicks (a blue Andelusean and a Spangled Hamburg 6 weeks tomorrow) that have been raised by 3 silkie hens. These hens are pretty low in the pecking order. Will the chicks by default be lower too?

I feel bad for these two because even the Mamas seem mean to them. Tonight the last Mama walked away from them and joined the rest of the flock. Literally leaving them in the middle of the yard at almost dark. She went into the main coop and they had originally been sleeping in a second coop. They tried to follow but I think were too afraid and I helped them back to the building they were used to.
They will be low on the pecking order until they are old enough to hold their own against the larger hens. At least that has been my own personal experience with chicks. I raise white silkies, and D' Uccles for showing...

I know the Mamas need to cut the apron strings at some point and this is about the right age. I just wasn't sure if they would work their way up or just stay low like the Mamas.

I do see shuffling around of order all the time for the lower ones, but oddly I couldn't tell you who the top girl is! I have 4 that seem like top girls.
As the chicks become young adults, their is the potential for reshuffling of the pecking order. Being low currently may not be good for being in top condition when that day comes. That is reason hens invest in protecting their chicks from other flock members when possible. If the birds are free-range then subordinates will at least have possibility of compensating for being chased away from prime access to feeders.

What I have noticed is that chicks, at least with respect to females, that had a dominant hen for a mother tend to be higher ranking themselves as adults. The mother need not be biological for this to hold.
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yep its always the sweet ones on the bottom... :)
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