dominant or submissive?

chickenbythesea

Songster
8 Years
Jun 15, 2011
513
4
111
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
 

Happy Chooks

Free Ranging
Premium Feather Member
11 Years
Jul 9, 2009
40,417
3,572
626
Northern CA
My Coop
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?
 

debid

Free Ranging
10 Years
Jan 20, 2011
7,560
6,921
516
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...
 
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