Top chicken on the roost

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Apopka Cluckers, Jan 1, 2009.

  1. Apopka Cluckers

    Apopka Cluckers In the Brooder

    Dec 29, 2008
    I have heard from people that I have talked to about my chickens that the pecking order can be determined by the height the chickens take on the roost. I don't know how true this is but I have seen some interesting behaviors since putting the roost in.

    Let me start by saying that I have NO CLUE who the roos are in my coop. I thought I identified 3 of them by their large combs and waddles but I was told in another forum that I could have up to 5 roos out of the 8 chickens that I have. The two that I thought were hens were identified as roos in that forum and those are the ones displaying the behaviors.

    The first one, who I call QB, is the only chicken to go to the top rung of the roost and will peck any other chicken who decides to try and get up there. QB is definitely the dominant bird when it comes to the roost but the most submissive when it comes to the food.

    Another bird, who I thought was a hen, I named PB and is the dominant one over the food. PB will peck all of the other birds away while eating and even when he/she is not eating but is the low bird on the perverbial totem pole when it comes to the roost. PB will chase the others around the coop and even jump at the other roos in the pen.

    Is this roo behavior from these two? Can the hens be the dominant ones in the coop or is the roo always boss? You can see pics of them at

    in advance [​IMG]
  2. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

    Nov 9, 2007
    SW Arkansas
    I took a look at your pics real quick.
    The roosters I could tell right off were Domingo, Pavarotti and I'm fairly certain PB is a roo too. There may be other roos, but it was hard for me to tell from those pics.
    I'll tell you a little bit about how the pecking order works in my flock. Roosters have their own pecking order seperate from the hens. My alpha roo gets pick of the roosts, but he lets the girls fight over who gets to sleep next to him. At mealtimes, he will call the girls to eat and usually he'll dive right in himself. The only one he is concerned about keeping away from food is the other roo. Again, he lets the girls sort out the rest. The only time either roo steps into the girl fights is if they go on for an extended period of time.
    So basically what you end up with is an alpha roo keeping the other roos in line and a alpha hen or hens that keep all the girls in line. Does that make sense?

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