Pecking order?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Mia_, Jul 17, 2011.

  1. Mia_

    Mia_ Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 27, 2011
    South Puget Sound
    I keep hearing things about the dominant hen and the top of the pecking order. I have not seen anything like that yet. The only "pecking" I have seen is when one of the little girls (dark cornish) appears to be helping one of the big girls (cornish x) preen. They are 7 weeks old, are they too young to have a pecking order? I have 19 dark cornish, 25 cornish x (I think one may be a leghorn) and a buff cochin, all girls (or are supposed to be).
  2. EELover

    EELover Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 15, 2010
    Usually there is one or more that gets picked on all the time. The level of severity is always different. I once had a rooster that was getting picked on ALL THE TIME. His tail feathers always looked awful because they were always being pecked out. The others didn't let him in the nesting boxes to cuddle at night in the winter so he got frost bite on his toes and the tips fell off. He would try to mount the ladies and the others would kick him off. He would never crow because it is said that a happy rooster is a crowing rooster but he was never happy. He was very sweet but i got rid of him because I didn't want him to suffer anymore.

    There is another kind that I have going on now which is that I have added younger chickens to the flock and my hens peck at the younger ones and don't let them eat as much food. They are just showing signs of dominance. Animals are animals and we can't really do anything about it. Feel lucky that you don't really have that problem.
  3. turbodog

    turbodog Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 21, 2010
    Independence, La.
    It's not always about actually "pecking". Can be any type of dominance display, like one rushing at other or pushing another bird out of a choice spot. It'll always go on, though as they get things established it'll get more subtle. Less of a "put em in their place thing" to more of a "keep em in their place thing" [​IMG]
  4. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens

    You know, it took me forever to figure out the pecking order of my flock, and I spent a LOT of time observing them (because they are my pets). I think when your flock is pretty harmonious, it's very subtle. They were well over 6 months old before I really figured it out, and even then it wasn't linear; I really didn't have a bottom hen, because everyone was above someone else. So other than my lead and 2nd in command (who eventually became VERY clear), hen A was over hen B, and hen B over hen C, but hen C was over hen either nobody was at the bottom, or all three were at the Now with my new bantam girls, I was pretty sure by 10 weeks or so of the order, but they're still challenging one another occasionally.
    Spend a lot of time observing them and you'll figure it out they're just fun to watch [​IMG]

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by