Throwin' Elbows


8 Years
Jul 25, 2011
We got 3 chickens at the same time. Two were just a week old, and the third was a BO about 7-8 weeks old. The BO is so very sweet, but set the pecking order as expected since she is much older.

Turns out, one little one was a roo, so he got taken back to the chicken farm to exchange for a hen (both the bird I exchanged and the new bird were about 6 weeks old). This again reset the pecking order, with the least dominant little one now in the middle and the newcomer at the bottom.

But, come roost time these days there is such a tussle. It is pretty funny.

You can see there is plenty of room on the roost. But apparently, the desirable spot is right next to the end.

First, the little ones creep up on the BO who has taken prime spot:

They make it almost unbearable to be squished in the corner:

Then, the one outside starts throwin' elbows:

**These were taken about 15 minutes ago. I just checked, and everyone is still in the same position, but they've spread out a bit now. I guess they've given up on trying to roust the BO.**
Wait till you have a coop full and watch how they can exchange positions without someone being knocked off, usually. One will drop her head and start rooting under another. The one on top will actually step up onto the the others back and then back down on the other side. From outside, it looks like your hens are doing a funky version of the wave. I've seen them go about 5-6 positions in a single move. Funny stuff. Most people you tell such stories will have no idea how crazy the hens are, especially at roosting time, unless they have chickens. I really wish I had pics of mine doing, or even a video.

Kudos to you for getting pics of it...

Yes, it started with the Buff Orp. (BO) on the middle of the roost, and she scooched over till the other two were against the wall, then leaned out and pecked their toes until they moved. She slid over. They flew back up and jockeyed for position by weaving their bodies over and under each other to see who could get next to the BO. Then they both LEANED on top of the BO to squeeze her out, so she swivled toward them and they tried to worm underneath her.

I felt like a mom wanting to yell at them to STAY IN YOUR OWN SEAT OR I WILL PULL THIS CAR OVER.

So, I had to just leave them to it.

So far, it ends up the same every night - each one roosting in the order you see in the pics. I wonder when they are all older and the same size if the pecking order / roosting order will stay the same. We will only ever have 3 girls, so I guess this kind of thing is more obvious to us than to those with a large flock. Oh well, nothing as entertaining as chicken TV.
I too, love the look on the middle gals face! My dominant hen wants whatever spot every one else has. I have 3 roosts in the coop and 5 hens, one rooster. The bossy hen gets a spot, then she realizes that everyone else has a spot. It doesn't matter if it's one chicken on the roost she wants the spot that chicken is in. Then,when she gets it she notices that somebody else has a better looking spot. The rooster even moves:pop for her! Better than any movie. I start watching for them to head to the coop in the evenings, grab a cup of coffee and watch the show.

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