Pecking order - how do you know?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by babsh, Nov 20, 2008.

  1. babsh

    babsh Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 30, 2008
    Minnesota
    I have 10 hens (5 standard, 5 bantams) and I am curious how you know what their pecking order is. I watch their interactions, i see small "face-offs" now and then, but i am still unsure. Our roost is all one level, so there is no place for hierarchy. I have two Wyandottes that don't let a few of the others eat when i put out scratch, but that's about all i can tell.

    Barb
     
  2. Pinky

    Pinky Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 15, 2008
    South GA
    The dominate hens will usually eat first or run the other hens away from the food you have for them.Most of the time , the oldest or strongest hen is at the top,and above the other hens.I don't know about other people's hens, but my dominate hen is the first one in the coop when it's time to sleep and will constantly call for the rest of the flock to come into the coop at the edge of dark.
     
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2008
  3. Jster

    Jster Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dec 11, 2007
    For us, it's really easy to tell the top and bottom. Our alpha chicken kept the new chicks in line when we integrated them, and will push others away from good treats. Our bottom chicken sleeps to the side and doesn't leave the yard, but she's our sweetest and personal favorite, always right there for a snuggle. If we were brave enough to try chicken diapers, we'd make her a house chickens, she's just that sweet (in fact, I brought her in the other day to clean up after my messy baby got yellow rice all over the floor. She loved it!)

    As far as the chickens in the middle...we don't really know.
     
  4. babsh

    babsh Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 30, 2008
    Minnesota
    Quote:My two Wyandotte's do this. But they only peck at a couple of the birds (clearly the 'bottom'). The others they leave alone. Does that mean they are at the top, or just that they are above the ones they peck at?

    Our oldest, biggest hen is at the bottom. It's hard not to feel sorry for her. She spent the first several weeks separated from the other chicks (who were all together) and it seems that they never accepted her into the flock.

    Barb
     

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