Messing up pecking order

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by cookinmom, Apr 9, 2007.

  1. cookinmom

    cookinmom Songster

    Mar 14, 2007
    Saint George GA
    I've seen a lot of info here about introducing chickens, and how they establish the pecking order early on. With all that, does it mess up the pecking order when some, especially roos, are removed from the flock?

    When I give away my roosters, I guess the girls will just move up the ladder huh? Obviously they work it out, since people have been removing birds from the flock for centuries!
  2. 4H kids and mom

    4H kids and mom Cooped Up

    Mar 10, 2007
    Southern Wisconsin
    I am wondering the very same thing. Our 27 are nearing the age where we will be choosing our 2 favorite roos, and selling off the others. At 5 weeks now, I can tell whos who. We are just giving them another week or two so we can see what everyone will look like and make our choices. I was wondering if that mess up their "order" or not. I'll keep an eye on this post to see what the experts say! [​IMG]
  3. prariechiken

    prariechiken Songster

    Feb 9, 2007
    The hens will usually have their own pecking order that doesn't include the roos., There may be some jockying for position, but if all the roos are removed there will probably be little to worry about.
  4. bigzio

    bigzio Crowing

    Jan 20, 2007
    cookinmom, introducing new chickens to the flock is a serious event and involves a fence between the original flock and the newbies. After a few weeks of introduction, and the barrior removed, the pecking order is still affected. It depends on the flock how serious the transition is and should be monitored to see that there are no injuries.

    When removing chickens from the flock, the event is not a serious situation because the remaining flock already has their position in the order, resulting in the top spot tested, which is ongoing and changes from time to time anyway. My top hen is different today, and changes especially when new birds are introduced.

    Reducing flock numbers is not a serious concern.

  5. Shamba

    Shamba Hatching

    Sep 17, 2012
    How about reintroduction of hens after they have been separated to recover from injuries? I have a hen originally separated after rooster slashed open the back of her head. Upon second or third attempt at reintroduction rooster was still really going at her, which excited a jack Russell terrier to grab her. Now she is recovered again but I have separated the rooster and put her in the hen house with just the hens. This is all happening while I have been fitting hen aprons on the backs of other hens who have lost feathers due to the rooster's treading their backs and shoulders. Rooster is attacking the hens that I put aprons on upon reintroduction and other hens getting in on the act. One hen now accepted with apron but another not yet, which is why I removed the rooster and put the recovered hen in the house.

    Any pointers would be appreciated.

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