No pecking order...?

Discussion in 'What Breed Or Gender is This?' started by BDL1969, Sep 22, 2014.

  1. BDL1969

    BDL1969 Out Of The Brooder

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    We have five chickens since early May, all different breeds. They all grew up together and get along really well. I know about the pecking order but in this case there doesn't seem to be one dominant hen. Anyone else experience this?

    Thanks,
    Brad
     
  2. sunflour

    sunflour Flock Master Premium Member

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    All flocks have a pecking order, but the "dominant" hen doesn't have to show aggression. My #1 of 6 is quite a sweet natured hen, and doesn't' bully anyone…you would have to watch the dynamics in the group to know she is top "dog". All she has to do to get the others to behave is quietly look at them. She gets first choice at treats and choice of roost position. Yours are still young and the pecking order will change as they mature, but bet it is currently in place. Count your blessings, sounds like your chickens are getting along as mine do.
     
  3. BDL1969

    BDL1969 Out Of The Brooder

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    Thanks Sunflour! On a different but semi-related note...are there any breeds that tend to be more dominant than others? Currently we have a Buff Orpingnton, Silver Laced Wyandotte, Rhode Island Red, Golden Comet and a Barred Rock.

    Thanks
     
  4. Monkeybean415

    Monkeybean415 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Our chickens are the same way. We have nine 13 week old chicks that all get along wonderfully. I hope they continue to get along without aggression. We have a mixed flock too! :)
     
  5. HighStreetCoop

    HighStreetCoop Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yes, odds are your RIR or BR will be the top hen.
     
  6. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    I agree, though Wyandottes can be bossy butts as well. I've had both RIRs, BRs and RIRs as head hens in the flock over the years.
     
  7. BDL1969

    BDL1969 Out Of The Brooder

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    Thanks for all the great information guys and gals! I'm going to keep a closer eye on them to see if I can figure out who rules the roost. If things stay as they are I have no complaints. They all seem to be doing well.
     
  8. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    A good way to tell is to toss out some treats, not quite enough for everyone. See who eats the treats, and who moves away from who. Subordinate animals will yield to the dominant, especially when food is involved. One bird will just move along, eating what she wishes, and the rest will keep an eye on her and move if she heads toward them. It's not always a dramatic thing, sometimes it's quite subtle, especially in birds that have grown up together.
     
  9. sunflour

    sunflour Flock Master Premium Member

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    So true. I don't notice this with their regular feed, but definitely see it with treats. In my flock of 6 congenial ladies, the lower ones just move to allow the higher ones access and sneak up grab and run. But if it is something special like mealy worms even the meek become bold.
     
  10. sunflour

    sunflour Flock Master Premium Member

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    Before I got my 3 BR and 3 BO, I read all I could find on breeds. Never would I have predicted that one of my BO's would be #2 and one of my BR's would be at the bottom. Breed characteristics would have predicted BR more likely to be at top and BO to be at bottom. They never demonstrated real fights for the top, just stare downs, chest bumps. But the top 2 were the largest in the flock until all matured - guess they got the most food when young?

    Both BR and BO are generally pleasant personalities - but broodiness makes BO more aggressive and disruptive when reentering the flock routines.
    Wyandottes are described as often bossy but not aggressive.
    RIR are reported to be often aggressive and I think most likely the Alfa chicken.
    No idea on GC - never looked at their descriptions.

    Watch you flock and see what they do when you are not with them and you'll start to notice the order. Top and bottom will be the easiest to determine. But at the age of yours, expect some changes over the next year.
     

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