Pecking order

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by wistlindixie, Mar 20, 2011.

  1. wistlindixie

    wistlindixie Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 27, 2011
    So, in a flock of 13 birds (8 hens and 5 roos) who would be the top of the pecking order? A hen or a roo? And what rights does being at the top usually afford a chicken?
  2. hennyannie

    hennyannie Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 12, 2011
    North Carolina
    Most often in my flock the largest oldest hen runs the show even if a roo is present. The roos seem to have a seperate agenda and are not in the order so much. She does not seem to have special privilages, but everybody moves out of her way and sometimes she gets after them if they get out of line.
  3. motoclown

    motoclown Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 27, 2010
    New Castle, PA
    My top girl gets to eat the bugs first-when I'm peeling the bark off of old dead trees.
    Granted that I only have 3 grown girls right+1 Roo now and 37 babies in the brooder.
    We'll see what happens when I have 35+girls running my yard.
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2011
  4. gryeyes

    gryeyes Covered in Pet Hair & Feathers

    In the Chicken world, the rooster is King. The pecking order is in succession from there on down. If there are more roosters, they are subordinate to the Alpha rooster, and may be higher or lower in status than senior hens. The most senior hen may or may not be the rooster's favorite; she just has first rights for all treats, for preferred roosting spot, for walking anywhere all others must give way to her. The pecking order is also fluid and dynamic, in that it can change from within or without. If you add a chicken, the pecking order must be re-established. The new bird does not always end up at the bottom of the pecking order, either; she may fit somewhere in the middle high or low spots. But she most likely will never be equal to the senior hen. If their location is changed (moved to another property) or a new coop replaces the old or is added to the compound, the pecking order will need to be established again.

    If an upstart roo challenges the Alpha and wins, the order is changed. If an upstart hen challenges the senior hen, or other hens with more status, she may very well move upward in status. Or not.

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