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Pecking Order?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by BlueBetween, Jun 2, 2011.

  1. BlueBetween

    BlueBetween Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Our girls have been sleeping out in their coop now since Sunday (yay!!) and they are such good little chickens - they put themselves to bed before dark and get all settled in, so much easier than my boy (human) ever was or even still is... but we noticed that they line up in the exact same order every night on the roost. Is that typical? One on one end seems very pleased about where she roosts, the two next to her seem pretty content, and the one on the far end seems to look like she'd rather be somewhere else, but is making due. Is this pecking order?

    Thanks [​IMG]
    Pam


    [​IMG]

    Also, the one on the lower roost, is, I'm pretty sure, the leader of the pack, even though she is younger and lower than the rest... she seems to make the rules, always first one out and first one to the food, and does the purring to calm the others down... so that is confusing me too, why is she happy to be lower? She's the one who gets into the rafters during the day, no one else has been higher than her in the coop, ever... but not at night.
     
  2. fshinggrl

    fshinggrl Chillin' With My Peeps

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    That is strange that your top hen does not get the top perch at night. That would typically be the case. Looks like they are quite content the way it is. [​IMG] Cute picture!
     
  3. clarkechick

    clarkechick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Maybe she prefers that spot because of it's proximity to the window / door. I have read a lot about chickens in their new homes huddling near the windows or doors to be near the light. Although it is a lower roost, it may be the preferred location and being queen of the coop, she gets it!
     
  4. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    Yes it's pecking order. I'd guess either they aren't through establishing their who's who, or the one really in charge isn't the one you think is in charge! I'm never actually sure of all their pecking order arrangements....

    I have one who tends to go to a spot that's a good deal higher than the roosts. She's a young pullet and definitely low in the order. Maybe the highest spot isn't as important to them as we think. It's true they like windows....
     
  5. BlueBetween

    BlueBetween Chillin' With My Peeps

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    yes, that's the window seat. Maybe she likes it because she can face forward and look out?
     
  6. clarkechick

    clarkechick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Maybe... I know I would! Ill have to keep that in mind for window placement when I start to build my coop. I assumed that they wouldnt like the windows near the roost but I am learning quickly that it is not the case. I can't blame them for wanting a view!
     
  7. BlueBetween

    BlueBetween Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:I was sure they would think the back inside corner of the coop was the safest, I was surprised they wanted the window area too. BUT! It makes cleaning up after them SO much easier than I thought it was going to be.
     
  8. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

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    Both of my coops have multiple windows. That's where the chickens like to hang out.

    I have another theory on your lower sitting, higher ranking hen. She has established herself as the "roo" in a flock without one. My roos always stay closest to the doors and windows, to put themselve between danger and the hens. I dunno, maybe? [​IMG]
     
  9. BlueBetween

    BlueBetween Chillin' With My Peeps

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    maybe? she does seem most alert and keeps an eye out like a rooster would.

    It was funny, we got her a week after the other three, she was our "insurance chick" because I was afraid the buff orp was going to turn out to be a rooster, she was so bossy and pushy. We plunked the baby welsummer in there with the other three and Pippi, the BO, instantly calmed down and stopped being a bully, and Daphne, the welsummer, seemed to all of a sudden be in charge, she didn't take any flack from the other three and they all seemed to instantly respect her. She's brave and smart, and they all follow her lead. It's interesting, but I'm pretty sure I will never understand their social system!!
     
  10. biddybird

    biddybird Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have nine 4 month old roos, they roost on top of a rail, about a foot under the roof of our barn every night. They line up in exactly the same order each night. To do so they must fly about 5 feet from the rail pen below. They sometime "land" out of order and then must swap positions on the rail. It is hysterical to watch the routine, it never fails at least 2 or 3 end up falling or getting pushed off and have to start all over. They coordinate with one jumping up and over and the other moving over at the same time. If one of the roos does not cooperate it ruins the system and someone takes a dive or gets knocked off. My DH and DS are finding that our chores include watching the show and it takes about an hour each evening.
    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
     

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