Does Breed Affect Place in the Pecking Order?

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by Criskin, Dec 30, 2009.

  1. Criskin

    Criskin Lost somewhere in a book

    Has anyone else noticed that certain breeds tend to rank higher or lower in their flock's pecking order? My flock is too small to make a solid theory but I have noticed that, whatever the age, my Buff Orpingtons tend to rank higher than my Partridge Rocks in the pecking order. I wonder if it is just a fluke or if other people have had similar experiences.

    I have 11 birds from 2 different hatcheries. Five are 28 weeks old and from Cackle and six are 18 weeks old and from Ideal. I keep them all together in a large yard. I have Partridge Rocks and Buff Orpington hens of each age. I've spent a lot of time watching them and figuring out their pecking order and was surprised at the results:

    The older birds are naturally at the top of the pecking order:
    1. King Louis (BO rooster)
    2. Esme (Barred Rock hen
    3. Hilda (BR hen)
    4. Lucy (BO hen)
    5. Anne (PR hen)

    The younger birds show a similar pattern, though:
    6. Blue (Blue Cochin roo)
    7. Daisy (White Cochin pullet)
    8. Buttercup (BO pullet)
    9. Jilly Bean (BO pullet)
    10.Magrat (PR pullet)
    11.Marie (pr pullet)
  2. Thortherooster

    Thortherooster Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 10, 2009
    yes, the smaller ones are lower, like silkies...
  3. Bantimna

    Bantimna Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 29, 2009
    South Africa
    I guess it depends on the birds temperament and attitude.
  4. wjallen05

    wjallen05 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 8, 2008
    North Georgia
    Not sure. I have noticed that my favorite (standard) hen, an Easter Egger, is the lowest in the pecking order. Poor thing. She never gets any of the treats I through out for them. My RIR hens are at the top of the pecking order. I have so many birds and so many breeds I haven't really sat and tried to figure out who is where in the pecking order, I've just noticed that the meanie RIRs are at the top and my sweet Eliza is at the bottom.
  5. Criskin

    Criskin Lost somewhere in a book

    Quote:lol I have a lot of time on my hands! I have always noticed that not only have my Barred Rocks always seemed to be in charge, but they are the first ones to figure things out (like how to escape the brooder, go through the chicken house door, etc.) For awhile my BR Esme would actually bow up to the rooster. They since seem to have worked out their differences because I haven't seen it happen i na long time.
  6. Sonoran Silkies

    Sonoran Silkies Flock Mistress

    Jan 4, 2009
    Tempe, Arizona

    Some of my smallest hens (I am thinking about one silkie gal in particular) are absolute TOP of the pecking order. Most of the larger girls could care less.

    I will say that when birds are raised and brooded together with a mix of breeds, sizes and colours they tend to be more tolerant than those raised only with birds who all look alike.
  7. Sonoran Silkies

    Sonoran Silkies Flock Mistress

    Jan 4, 2009
    Tempe, Arizona
    Quote:When I had RIR's I noticed that too--it's a reason I do not have them any more. I've been told that the SQ ones have better temperaments than hatchery birds though.
  8. Ryu

    Ryu Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 6, 2009
    We had a very large (for us) 'free range' flock this summer of 60 or so birds. The Delewares were the bullys, the Buckeyes close behind, Easter Eggers, Ameraucanas, then the Doms and finally the Standard Cornish.

    We got rid of a lot of birds to try and restore peace out there and added some in. We turned out some BC Marans hens, and they have taken over. The Cornish grew up, finally, and figured out that they have 'knockout' power. So the top roost is the Marans and the Cornish with the Ameraucana rooster. Then EEs, Ameraucanas, Buckeye hens, and Doms.

    I think it just depends on their age, and the birds themselves.

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