The chicken pecking order!!

7L Farm

9 Years
Jul 22, 2010
Anderson, Texas
I no they have a pecking order but I couldn't tell you who is the highest are the lowest. But its real evident that its there. I kinda rescued this bird from a freind that had three girls & was down to one. I opened my big mouth & told him that you cannot raise her by herself. I did feel sad that she was alone. So, I now have had her for 5 days. I let her roost with the others at night no problem there. During the day poor thing sits on the roost in the coop while the others are out free ranging. The others come back to the coop to lay eggs & thats all good. Well, the newbie I give her courage. She decides I'm going out of the coop today. She wonders up to me I'm her only freind besides the roo we all no what he wantsLOL. I give her some meat from last nites dinner a few other girls come over & I give them some as well. I run out of meat & they start chasing her.I'm hoping as time goes on they might except her I'm pretty sure she will always be on the bottom of the order but hoping they will atleast let her hang with them. Who know's!!
In addition to the pecking order stuff, chickens don't like change. She is probably still real unsure of herself. Once she gets comfortable with her new surroundings, she will probably mix with the others and find her right place in the pecking order. It can take time.
Thanks for your reponse. I need some reasurance that some day she will fit in. I really have become attached to her she's real freindly.My other chickens use me for food & thats it but I use them for food as well so we all share the same intrest.
Give her a few weeks, she'll probably be fitting in fine by then. I prefer not to try to integrate single birds, but I've had to do it once or twice. Last time the hen was very flighty and almost bantam sized and she got either chased away or totally ignored for more than a month. I just checked she wasn't being physically picked on or going hungry and then left them all to figure it out for themselves. Eventually everybody settled down and accepted her. She's been here for less than four months now, but has found her place in the flock and fits in fine.
We recently did the same thing with two EE hens. The brown one was more determined and fit in much quicker. It has now been a month and the white one is just now brave enough to come in for treats and hang with the others. She was not even up on the roost but roosting on a board on the actual wall......have not checked on her at night lately but maybe she is on the real roost now.

Pecking order is normal but painful for us humans!
I forgot to say, colour can play a big part in the 'fitting in' process. My birds free range and tend to hang out in little groups according to their colour, not age or length of time in the flock. If your new bird is a different colour from all your other ones, she might take a lot longer to fit in, and/or she might always be a bit of an outcast. Having seen the way my birds colour co-ordinate, I now don't think I'd ever get just one bird of a different colour...
O she is a Dominique & the rest are RIR"S .I wish I hadn't done this either but I get attached so easily & want her to fit in some how some way. I don't care if she's at the bottom. I'd like to see her with the flock one day. But at the same time I don't want her to live a miserable life. Wonder how much longer I should try? What to do? I've pretty much done everything I said I wasn't gonna do while raising chickens. I wasn't gonna get a roo. Got one. Wasn't gonna hatch chicks. I've got 48 eggs in the bator & this is my third time hatching. Wasn't gonna add on to my flock. Added one. Wasn't going to free range without my supervision. Their out running around as I type.
Little baby is smart she's hunkered down right next to the roo I couldn't beleive it. She should sleep good tonight.
I had a similar situation. A friend had 3 hens and two were killed by a weasel, so feeling bad I took in the lone survivor. Here's what I did, keep in mind I only have 5 hens and one Roo so it was probably a little easier for me, but I took my shyest hen, her name is Esther, the one I knew was on the bottom of the pecking order and put her in a separate pen ( a 4 x 6 cardboard box) in my garage with food and water, but I left her alone for an hour, she hated it, but it was only for an hour. Then I brought in my new addition, who I named Maude. Well Esther was feeling lonely so she did not care who was in the pen with her as long as she had company! I kept them together for two days, and then reintegrated them. There was a little bit of pecking but after ten minutes everything calmed down and Esther and Maude hung out together, they had bonded! The next day everything was fine and normal. Giving Maude one friend gave her a little confidence and now they are all happy, and all with little fuss. I realize that with only 5/6 hens this may be easier than with a larger flock, but it might be worth a try
Good Luck! I hope this helps!

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