dominant or submissive?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by chickenbythesea, Aug 24, 2011.

  1. chickenbythesea

    chickenbythesea Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 15, 2011
    Nova Scotia
    so, I have a chicken who always challenges me and comes at me (sometimes I think it's a roo but it looks like the rest of the pullets), but will not go in the coop at night... I always have to chase it around, catch it and put it in. Is it the dominant pullet (they're 10 weeks) or is she the bottom of the pile? I have noticed that when they're roosting, there's always one bird left out... I think it's her but the way she goes at me sometimes makes me wonder? Any thoughts? thanks
  2. Happy Chooks

    Happy Chooks Moderator Staff Member

    Jul 9, 2009
    Northern CA
    My Coop
    Dominant usually get the first of everything - first at food, first to pick a spot on the roost, etc.

    Do you have a picture of this chicken? How does it come at you?
  3. debid

    debid Overrun With Chickens

    Jan 20, 2011
    middle TN
    My dominant pullet chooses her desired roost position and will peck any other pullet that might be in her way. She usually roosts next to the cockerel. The lowest in the order usually goes up last but I have seen her hop up too soon and then have to get down and choose another spot after being reminded of her place. The way my coop is set up, there are several places where birds can "hide" when they roost and I occasionally see the lower-ranking birds using those spaces.

    I think that something more is going on in your situation, though, because I've watched a pullet get a pretty stern reminder and she was still not about to sleep outside. The willingness to do so suggests to me that your bird may have been ostracized (beyond low ranking -- straight up non-acceptance and being driven from the flock). It's hard to say without actually seeing the birds interact, though. It could also be that there is nowhere in the coop for her to hide and she's being severely bullied so she's reluctant to go in but would eventually if you weren't there to scoop her up.

    ETA: and cockerel also crossed my mind -- mine will sometimes linger outside to make sure all of the pullets are in...
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2011

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