Laying and pecking order change?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Ballerina Bird, Jan 10, 2015.

  1. Ballerina Bird

    Ballerina Bird Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have two ladies, one of whom started laying about two weeks ago and the other of whom laid her first egg today. While the hen who laid today was gearing up, going back and forth from the coop and practicing nesting, I noticed that during one of her sojourns in the run with her sister they had a little standoff and she established dominance. Does the onset of laying sometimes bring about a renegotiation of the pecking order?
     
  2. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Yes.
    They can act really goofy when they start laying.
    They'll calm to their new normal in a up to a month or so.
     
  3. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    Not always but yes it can. When they are fairly young dominance has a lot more to do with maturity than physical size. The maturity level changes when they first start to lay. It’s not the size of the chicken in the fight, it’s the size of the fight in the chicken. The size of the fight in the chicken can change when they hit that plateau of egg laying.

    When they start laying is generally when my pullets make their way into the flock pecking order. Until they start to lay they sort of form a separate flock, avoiding the dominant hens. But once they start to lay they are much more likely to merge into the main flock. It’s not an overnight thing but more gradual and often with even less violence than you saw.
     
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  4. Ballerina Bird

    Ballerina Bird Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks! This is helpful. Laying really casts into relief their different personalities. When Odette was first starting to lay, Odile would stay up in the coop with her, standing over her. But now that Odile is trying to get started, Odette just leaves her alone up there, which I actually think Odile is not so thrilled about, as she comes down to the run to check on her sister even though she wants to nest, with the result that Odile laid her first egg in the run, not all decorously in the coop, like Odette did. Sigh. Odette is also totally hogging the scrambled eggs I feed back to them; I have to say that as smart as Odette is she is a bit unclear on the moral support concept! [​IMG]
     
  5. Ballerina Bird

    Ballerina Bird Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Also -- LOL to that sentence!
     

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