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Pecking order, new chicken bows head

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by HotelChicka, Sep 10, 2012.

  1. HotelChicka

    HotelChicka In the Brooder

    Jun 14, 2012
    I have three girls in my original flock. I have since gotten one more, who I am currently trying to acclimate to my other chickens. I have done everything I have been advised to do, to make it an easy transition, and though the newbie still keeps her distance from the others, it is going well. One thing I do notice though is if the newbie is in closed quarters with the others, she ducks her head in a corner, almost reminding me of a flamingo with its head in the sand. I am assuming she is showing her submission in the pecking order, but I want to be sure.

  2. Bunnylady

    Bunnylady POOF Goes the Pooka

    Nov 27, 2009
    Wilmington, NC
    I'm not sure I'd call that submission, exactly; it's a bit more than that. She's protecting her head from the anticipated pecks of the others. She recognizes the dominance of the other birds, and since she can't run in those circumstances, she's doing what little she can to "hide". Hopefully they will lighten up a bit on her soon - I trust she isn't showing any signs of damage?
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2012
  3. yammafarmer

    yammafarmer In the Brooder

    Jun 19, 2012
    One of my chickens is low in the pecking order and she did the same thing. The other hens almost seemed confused, as though they couldn't see her anymore. They lost interest and wandered away.
  4. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon
    It's submissive behavior. "See, I'm not a threat. I'm not challenging you at all. I'm bowing to your dominance. If you chose to peck me I'll just hunch over and take it cause you're the boss".
  5. HotelChicka

    HotelChicka In the Brooder

    Jun 14, 2012
    thank you! In anwser to the question, no their are no signs of damage, other than being exluded from the flock. I dont know how long it typically takes for exsisting hens to accept new ones, but its been almost a week. My new one hides out in the coop all day long while the others graze in their run. Kinda sad :(

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