Pecking Order Question

NewBoots

Free Ranging
Nov 30, 2018
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Lakeside, OR
I have a question regarding pecking order. But first I'm going to talk about my experience with a pullet named Mahogany.

My partner incubated and hatched 8 Swedish Flower Hen eggs, and one of the last ones to hatch was a dark one we named Mahogany. She hatched late and had a couple of issues and so I had to handle her quite a bit. She was very good-natured about it and so pretty I got quite attached. Sometimes she would just jump up on my lap sometimes to snuggle up and nap. She grew out of her problems but at about 4 weeks, I noticed she was low on the pecking order. She was one of the smaller chicks and while I know pecking order is something we can't do much about, I didn't like seeing her run off of so many of the treats. So I started actively spoiling her. I'd make sure she got a good share of the meal worms and other high protein treats to help her catch up in size. And since she'd already learned to jump onto my lap, when she did I'd let her have first shot at any treats I was handing out. A month has past and her standing in the flock has changed, of the pullets her age, she's now one of the top birds. She tends to run with the cockerels and bosses around just about everyone except the cockerels and the top two older pullets.

So my question, did my actions change her standing or is it just a coincidence? Can we really affect pecking order? The folks who had to teach an unruly rooster who was boss, did those roosters lose standing in the flock?
 

oldhenlikesdogs

Suffering Succotash
BYC Staff
Premium Feather Member
5 Years
Jul 16, 2015
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I doubt you have altered her position in the pecking order directly, but you may have indirectly altered it by making her stronger, and perhaps more confident. Dominance can be a lot about posturing and confidence.

Usually the pecking order is loosely established in young birds and becomes more solid and important at sexual maturity.

Females have a pecking order, and the males have a separate pecking order. Most times males are above females.

The order can change based on many factors and occurrences.
 

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