Pecking order?

Nicoli

Hatching
Jan 3, 2016
2
0
9
pinckney, MI
Hello,

I check Backyard chickens on a regular basis for answers and tips for my six hens and finally decided to join!
I have been researching multiple sites regarding a concern with one of the girls and am hoping someone on here can help me. I have 6 hens that I have had for almost two years now. One, General, takes on the roll of a watchdog while the others explore. She will let all the others eat greens etc before her. I have tried tossing pieces separately and she won't take them. My concern is that her comb is quite a bit paler and she sleeps alone at the bottom of the co-op while the others share a roost. She eats,drinks and explores with the others but seems like the outcast. I know the pecking order is natural but worry about her comb and sleeping alone in the cold Michigan winter.
 

Bridebeliever

Songster
Sep 12, 2015
2,005
272
191
Revelation 21:9 Washington
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Glad you joined the flock!

I have personally only been a chicken owner for 4 months. Watching the pecking order has been one of the most interesting parts of chicken keeping to me! I don't have any that are acting like individual outcasts but I do have 3 that wait until everybody else has eaten before they eat. All of them sleep on the roost together but occasionally I will have one that chooses to sleep alone for a night or two. I'm thinking it's because their spot on the roost got taken and they want that exact spot but aren't bossy enough to take it back over.

Maybe you could put your loner one up on the roost after they have all settled in to sleep. (Do it in the semi-dark.)
 

Yorkshire Coop

*
Premium Feather Member
6 Years
Aug 16, 2014
22,833
25,187
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Hi :welcome

Glad you could join the flock! As she is eating and drinking ok and is not being attacked by the other girls I would not be too worried. Her comb maybe paler due to the winter. Is she laying? Has she moulted? These things could be making her pale. I'm afraid being at the bottom of the pecking order can't be helped, someone has to be there.

Good luck with your girls in the future and enjoy BYC :frow
 

Pork Pie

Flockwit
Premium Feather Member
6 Years
Jan 30, 2015
57,040
229,261
1,687
I find that the face and combs of my chickens can even vary with during one day! My fellow Yorkshire compatriot has nailed it for - would not expect anything less :D

Ct
 

N F C

Moderator
BYC Staff
Premium Feather Member
7 Years
Dec 12, 2013
95,202
405,601
2,102
Wyoming
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Yorkshire coop is right, combs and wattles will get lighter and darker at various times. As for your girl's behavior, it sounds as though she acts just like the one we have on the bottom of the pecking order. One of our Speckled Sussex is the smallest of the flock and has learned to keep her distance from the other more aggressive birds. Even if I try to hand feed a treat to her, she'll just look at it until someone else comes along and snatches it up. I make special efforts to be sure she gets her share but she knows the other girls have first rights to things.

It's nice to have you here, thanks for joining us!
 

drumstick diva

Still crazy after all these years.
Premium Feather Member
11 Years
Aug 26, 2009
138,851
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Out to pasture
Could you try putting out another feeder away from the main one? That way she can eat without worry. Could you position another roost away from the main one but, same height?Maybe she would use that one and feel she is not at the bottom of the pecking order.
 

Nicoli

Hatching
Jan 3, 2016
2
0
9
pinckney, MI
Thank you! That's makes perfect sense. She did molt with three others but am not sure if she's laying. I have three Rhode Island Reds and three black sex links. She is a black sex link and I have noticed that they lay quite a bit less than the Reds. Winter and her comb makes sense now. Thank you for your help!:)
 

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