Pecking order or bullying?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by tlouiselle, Apr 1, 2015.

  1. tlouiselle

    tlouiselle Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 15, 2015
    Hi, I have had my first chicks for 2 weeks now in a brooder. They are 4 weeks old and so much fun. I don't know about chicken behavior though.

    There are three silver laced wyandottes and three ameraucanas. One of the ameraucanas gets in all of their faces and stares them down. It chases them and jumps on their backs. When I open the lid and they run over to see me it chases, jumps on them, and gets in their way. When they jump up on their perches/roosts to make their way up to jump on my lap it tries to jump up and pull them down.

    Is this just establishing a pecking order or so I have a bully on my hands?

    Thank you!!!!
     
  2. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    Pecking order. Actually there really isn't a difference between the two.
    They likely need more space now. Do you have a coop to move them to?
     
  3. tlouiselle

    tlouiselle Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 15, 2015
    Yes. I was planning on moving them this weekend. I am making the run tonight. Right now I have them in an extra large dog cage wrapped in chicken wire. They have roosts and their light.
     
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2015
  4. chickengeorgeto

    chickengeorgeto Overrun With Chickens

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    That is pecking order behavior. Chickens do not engage in bullying. Bullying is a human idea. Chickens are only interested in insuring that they have sufficient food, enough personal space, and the most favored roosting spots. You will learn much about pecking order behavior if you will spend a few evenings sitting quietly by the coop and watching your flock squabble while it puts itself to bed.

    The one thing (IMHO) that most effects which hen is the boss hen is the relative health of each chicken in your flock, especially as that relative health relates to the likely reproductive success of each individual hen. In nature a flock of chickens can not survive and successfully sustain itself without a pecking order to spread the wealth around in a negative fashion to the strongest and most fit hens in that flock.

    I doubt that there is any proven scientific based research for saying the following, but I would not be surprised to learn that each individual hens' place in the pecking order is determined by her reproductive hormone levels and how those hormones affect her interactions with her flock..
     
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2015
  5. tlouiselle

    tlouiselle Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 15, 2015
    Thank you :) I have just heard horror stories about some pecking others and not leaving them alone. I was not sure if this behavior was normal or signs that it may get worse in the future. I love sitting and watchingthem already. They all have individual personalities and are hilarious. I have one that hears me and comes running to the side of the brooder. She then hops up and jumps on my hand to sit on my lap. So cute.
     

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