No pecking order?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by FlowerFarmer, Jun 24, 2011.

  1. FlowerFarmer

    FlowerFarmer Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 10, 2011
    I've been watching my 4 backyard chickens interact, and there seems to be no apparent pecking order. Is it normal that there isn't a dominant hen (pullet)? They are just a month or 2 away from laying eggs; I've heard they can change personalities after they are fully mature, so I was wondering if t was normal for them establish rank after eggs come..? I've watched them run up to eachother and do that silly head bob thing [​IMG] , but no fighting. Can this come later, or do chickens ever just 'get along' with no alpha?
    I have a mixed flock, all heavy girls [​IMG]

    1 buff orpington
    1 new hampshire
    1 blue laced red wyandotte
    1 silverlaced wyandotte

    Thanks for your imput
  2. turbodog

    turbodog Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 21, 2010
    Independence, La.
    Maybe they already have their order established and don't have any need to work on it at the moment?
  3. sunny & the 5 egg layers

    sunny & the 5 egg layers Overrun With Chickens

    Mar 29, 2011
    I never saw mine establishing the pecking order until they were about 9-10 weeks. They are now 16 weeks. Mine still are showing signs of establishing the pecking order. One will be running and all of a sudden another one will get in its way and they will chest bump each other, or even the feathers on the back of their necks (I think these are called hackles?) will stand up. I have also just started noticing how one of them will leave the group and all the others will follow her. Or how one will stay behind while all the others are in a group.
    I wouldn't worry too much about it, just like turbo dog said, maybe they already have established it?
  4. janinepeters

    janinepeters Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 9, 2009
    Sometimes if you have lots of space and few chickens, they are quite content, with little reason to compete, and you just don't see much in the way of squabbling. If your small flock of 4 chickens is free ranging, you might never notice much of a peck order. It's there but you have to watch very carefully. I think that competition for rank in the peck order is more noticeable, the more crowded the conditions, and the harder it is to get a turn at the feeder and waterer.
  5. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

    Nov 9, 2007
    SW Arkansas

    The pecking order arranging starts from day one in the brooder. Once it's up and running smoothly, which it should be unless there is a major upset, it can be very hard to detect but it's there.
  6. epeloquin

    epeloquin Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 11, 2011
    Western Massachusetts
    I have three BR and three RIR and they are just shy of 9 weeks and they have been working out their pecking order for quite a whilw. Interestingly, no violence here either. Their is a lot of neck puffing, staring each other down and some chest bumping but that's it and I'm quite happy about that.

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