Question about Pecking Order


12 Years
Jan 24, 2011
Bristol, VT
My Coop
My Coop
When do chickens start to establish a pecking order. I have 20 4 week old chicks and it really seems that they are already starting to square off with one another to decide who is boss.
As chicks, they start this, and it looks more like playing, but you are right, that's what they're doing...You'll see some chest bumping, and some posturing.....
We are already seeing this. I have one pullet that I call Maple who will watch the other birds and if she thinks they are doing something wrong she will fly at them from the other end of the coop and then fluff up to get them to stop. She is also the first out of the coop when I let them out to play and the first to try anything knew. So for now I think she might have the alpha spot none of the boys seem up to the job yet though.

When do the boys start showing their age and getting hormones and crowing and protecting the flock?
The boys will start this really at the same time the girls do...but it really varies. BUT, once the young roosters reach maturity, to where they really start looking male, then things will change.......Maple might be second in command then.....
I have noticed some of the boys starting to get their little red wattles coming in and they are turning red as well. They have always jumped on each other since the first day, both the boys and the girls but I have two boys I want to keep but I am still worried that they will become aggressive because of their raging hormones. When does their behavior start to get more roosterly?
The pecking order is an ever changing thing. It starts the instant they exit the egg and does not end until the day they exit life. It is every chicken's desire to rise in the pecking order. This is why the weak/smaller/underdogs are always picked upon.

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