Question about the flock dynamics....

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Amethyste, Dec 14, 2009.

  1. Amethyste

    Amethyste For Love of Boo...

    Mercedes is our head hen, 4.5 year old EE. She is in charge big time in the flock, but she knows I am higher than her in the pecking order [​IMG]

    I have recently noticed that she is starting to go after two of the younger birds...they are 21 weeks old now. Both of them seems to be higher in the pecking order than their sibs. When she goes after them they drop to the ground as if assuming the mating position. Is this just submissive behavior? No mounting or anything like that...she just pecks them a few times then backs off.

    She is submissive to me, and drops to give me 20 [​IMG] <lucky me> so I wanted to make sure that since she sees me as dominant the littles one will as well. I was also wondering if this was part of the jostling for 2nd in command type of stuff. In our original flock, they were all day olds together, and from day 3 or 4 it seems it was always Boo first and Mercedes 2nd in the chain of command. We have never had chicks raised by a chicken momma before you see [​IMG]

    I have been keeping an eye out and everyone is getting food etc so no bullying that i can see. There is a treat cage that I recently put in for the cold weather and she <Mercedes> LOVES this thing. However she is particular about who gets to eat from it... I have watched her chase the lower ones away. They do come back and try again, and she lets them get some then. Is this just part of establishing the pecking order? I never noticed this before with her in the flock...but then again she was Head Hen by default when Boo died.

    The other question I have is I got a really good look at everyone today. The larger BO has yellowish legs...but her feet seem to have pink on the webbing of the toes, and around the foot on her scales. No problem moving around tho, and she is acting totally normal. No one else has any issues on the feet. The other BO has no pink at all. I don't recall our old BO's having this colouring on the feet. Scales on legs on everyone looks fine...just thought I would make sure to double check.

    Oh...she laid an egg for me today! First one in a long time!! She hasnt laid since around the time Boo died and that was about 1 year or so ago.
     
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2009
  2. Amethyste

    Amethyste For Love of Boo...

    Quote:well found out it is probably just cos it is cold out side like rosy cheeks...so won't worry bout that part then....

    any answers tho on rest of question?
     
  3. KKatknap

    KKatknap Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 15, 2009
    Albany, OR
    Sounds like establishing pecking order to me. Especially since she just pecks once or twice to get their submissal squat and then backs off. It's normal for the "boss hen" to get first dibs at treats and such. Good that she lets them in later. It all sounds nice and orderly to me. Nice job. [​IMG]
     

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