The Pecking Order

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by eagrbeavr, Mar 31, 2015.

  1. eagrbeavr

    eagrbeavr Chillin' With My Peeps

    Hi I have a question since I'm new to this chicken thing. I got my first flock yesterday. Five EE and supposedly all wing sexed for pullets the day they were born. One blonde, two chips (one darker than the other), one charcoal grey with white belly, and one black with white wing tips and tuxedo. Two of them have extra toes and two with feathers on legs (3 total, cuz one has both).

    I'm already seeing the pecking order come into play. The blonde and charcoal look to be the two alphas. Two others seem to be midlin, with the black one is I'm assuming the runt. Its noticeably smaller. I see her getting flown over, knocked over, and challenged at food by especially the two top birds. Its off on its own a lot. A lot from what I can see anyhow. I do work full time and sleep. Its just not flourishing like the others. Not as active. I did see it eat and drink, so that concern isnt so much there now. I'm believing (hopefully) its not a weak health issue and just a pecking order thing. It doesnt have a pasty butt. Everything seems normal. I have noticed it scurry off quickly, but not much, so it *is* able to. I do see it try to hold its ground some to poor avail. It comes off to me like the outcast. Shunned. This bird is also vocal. One of the most vocal actually.

    Ok so enough with the preamble.

    My questions. This is all pretty normal, right? Is there usually one in the bunch thats like this? Does the pecking order normally go so low? I did scatter some food around the brooder to make sure it got to eat. Quickly anywhere it pecks at, another hoards in. Also I noticed it pecking at its nails. Several times. Is that normal? I that a nervous thing?

    If all this is normal, as a pseudo mother, its a little sad to watch. I guess I cant really do much about it. Its not being harmed, so far. I did see it eat and drink too, so.

    Am I missing something or is this just nature at work? It has only been a day, jeez when I think about it. Theyre a week old this past weekend.

    I appreciate the feedback
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2015
  2. newmarch2014

    newmarch2014 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 27, 2014
    I had one last year that was definitely more timid. To make sure she was getting enough to eat I took her out a couple times a day and hand fed her and had some nice cold water available. She did seem to appreciate an peaceful meal. She ended up being my favorite hen. She is much less skittish than the others and is quick to come nicely ask for a treat from me.
    I now have a hen that went to the bottom of the pecking order when my dog caused her to get an injured leg. I do the same for her, I separate her from the others for a fair share of the treats. I know this sounds a bit indulgent for chickens but I appreciate the eggs and bug eating so I can take a few minutes from my day to give them a comfortable meal or treat.
  3. eagrbeavr

    eagrbeavr Chillin' With My Peeps

    Thanks for the reply. I may've been overly concerned. (S)he's among the others now. Maybe just more of a wall flower type, like you said. It does appear she's fine. I scatter some food, make sure the feeder and water dish is open all around. I'll just keep an eye on it. Make sure I see her eat and drink. She's a little funny looking right now. Her legs seem further apart than the others, almost like she's wider than tall. Maybe its just how she holds her wings. something else that bothered me was (and is) her eyes just dont seem to open as wide. Doesnt have that same alert and bright gleam to them. Maybe she's just more sensitive to the light. I dont see any discharge or anything outwardly concerning. I may just get one of those red ones. I made a little cardboard shade on the other side they can get under if they choose. I do put some ice in the water to try to keep it cooler for jut a little while. Thanks again. :)

    And it doesnt sound overly indulgent to me :) Thats love.
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2015
  4. eagrbeavr

    eagrbeavr Chillin' With My Peeps

    She does stand her ground when the others rush her, she jut isnt returning the lerches forward. Hey maybe shes the most emotionally stable one haha
  5. eagrbeavr

    eagrbeavr Chillin' With My Peeps

    Actually what I just realized is that its not wider. The belly doesnt extend down like the others. Is that a source for concern.?[​IMG]


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