Pecking order 34 birds, is it supposed to be obvious?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by jtbrown, Dec 2, 2011.

  1. jtbrown

    jtbrown Chillin' With My Peeps

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    We have 34 hens, 5 bantums, 2 light brahmas, 5 production reds, and the rest EE. I sat out there with them today and it is not the first time I wondered how to tell pecking order. It is obvious the bantums are bottom, but that is it. But no one picks on them, they just give way to the bigger birds, no one prevents anyone from eating, nesting, etc.

    We have 12 x 8 coops on each side of a 12x24 building, connected by 8x4 hall. Each coop has a large run on each end of building. They have lots of room and each coop has plenty nests, each has food and water. Edited to add they all appear to roam freely through both runs, coops, hall without problem.

    Is the pecking order there but just invisible? Just curious if anyone has any input, not that important but I have been wondering. Thanks.
     
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2011
  2. TheSpiceGirls

    TheSpiceGirls Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Count your blessings. I have dealt with pecking and bullying for several months now. I finally had to resort to putting a peeper on my bully so she can't see in front of her to peck at her sister. Breaks my heart to do that because I know what she's doing is just instinctive. But I only have two hens so all her aggression is directed to that one poor hen and it's just brutal to watch.
     
  3. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years. Premium Member

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    jtbrown hope I don't jinx you but, it sounds like you just have well adjusted chickens and they are very content in their surroundings.
     
  4. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    Thirty-four birds is just over the number of individuals a chicken can recognize with respect a stable ranking system. The number is also high enough that trying to consistently enforce a pecking order is not worth effort. Social strife therefore will be less frequent and likely involve pot shots at victum that is looking away or obviously much smaller.
     
  5. jtbrown

    jtbrown Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank you. I feel lucky that we happened in to that number, I know they are not angels, given the chance I'm sure they could be destructive to one and other. But centrarchid, that makes sense with what I am seeing in the flock. They honestly appear to ignore one and other, except for a few that obviously pal around together. I was beginning to think my chicken observing skills were lacking, not picking up the pecking order.

    My goal today was to spend time observing them, sitting on a stool. Some managed to become lap birds off and on. I brought my son (5) to coop today and set him in front of a portable DVD player in the workroom with a new movie when he got bored -- so I could watch them in peace [​IMG]. I don't get a chance to do that often. It was relaxing.

    So, thanks. Centrarchid, I have read other posts about your observations of the birds, always very methodical and I silently watch those posts, very fascinating. I haven't enough experience to pitch in with anything useful, but I always learn.

    Ps, glad I don't have to go peeper route, but would if needed.
     
  6. Kadjain

    Kadjain Chillin' With My Peeps

    I have 23 hens, 3 roos and 3 two month pullets/cockerels (?). There is no strict pecking order with my flock either. It's funny and kinda like, chicken 1 will pick on chicken 2, chicken 2 will pick on chicken 3 and chicken 3 will pick on chicken 1. I have 3 roos, an EE, a Thai and a bantam Ameraucana. The bantam Ameraucana will dominate my Thai who is at least 4 x the size bigger and they are both around 8-9 months old. The Thai roo just doesn't care to fight back I guess. My roos all get along for the most, even forming a little rat pack they would ditch all the hens and hang out in a corner of the yard together in the past. That was before I got a bunch of bantam hens for the bantam roo. The pack has not been seen together since.
    The pic is from a few months ago when they were hanging in the corner.
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2011
  7. jtbrown

    jtbrown Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Kadjain, what a striking set of boys, they are beautiful!
     
  8. Kadjain

    Kadjain Chillin' With My Peeps

    Thanks! Here is a pic recently took of my Thai looking a lot more mature.
    [​IMG]
    I'm not trying to hyjack this thread, just telling my experience with the diversity of flock hierarchy. Then since the beauty of my roos what commented on, Thank you by the way, I had to show a better pic of my Thai.
     

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