I had an interesting interaction with one of my hens yesterday while working in the chicken yard. One of my light brahmas was getting curious and pecking around some of my building materials, and I put out my hand to pet her, expecting her to run away, but she crouched down and let me pet and scratch her around the head and neck. I thought this was interesting because normally when I walk into the chicken yard, all the hens are pretty skittish. I did notice similar behavior a couple weeks ago between the alpha hen and my barred rock, who is smaller and younger. The alpha was chasing after her and instead of continuing to run, the barred rock just crouched down and "let" the alpha give her a few aggressive pecks on the neck before moving on. I am curious of the roots of this behavior, if it has to do with the "pecking order" and who they see as the dominant figure in the area.