What does pecking order mean??

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Rufflemyfeathers, Feb 19, 2009.

  1. Rufflemyfeathers

    Rufflemyfeathers Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 20, 2008
    Astatula Florida
    What does pecking order mean?? I was reading on here and I read about pecking order.. What does that mean??
  2. sandypaws

    sandypaws Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 12, 2008
    desert of calif

    whoever is dominant will "peck" the submissive chickens..
  3. ranchhand

    ranchhand Rest in Peace 1956-2011

    Aug 25, 2008
    That's how chickens establish heirarchy- one will be the dominant one, then the others follow in order until there is a lowest rank one. They fight, peck and generally bully each other. The dominant, or alpha one, decides who does what when, and if somebody steps out of line they are punished.

    Just like a job, or a pack of dogs, or pretty much any other group.
  4. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

    Nov 9, 2007
    SW Arkansas
    In her book Hobby Farms Chickens: Tending a Small-Scale Flock for Pleasure and Profit, Sue Weaver describes the pecking order very well:
    "In any flock of chickens, there are birds who peck at other flock members and birds who submit to other flock members. This order creates a hierachical chain in which each chicken has a place.
    The rank of the chicken is dependant upon whom he pecks at and who he submits to. He ranks lower than those he submits to and higher than those he pecks at.
    A flock of chickens generally have their pecking order up and running by the time they're five to seven weeks old.
    Pullets and cockerels maintain seperate pecking orders within the same flock; as do hens and adult roosters.
    Hens automatically accept higher ranking roosters as superiors; but dominant hens give low-ranking cocks and uppity young cockerels a very hard time.
    In a closed flock with an established pecking order, there is very little infighting. Each chicken knows his or her place, and except among some roosters, there is suprisingly little jostling for position. Dominant chickens signal their superiority by raising their heads and tails and glaring at subordinates, who submit by crouching, tilting their heads to one side, and gazing away - or beating a hasty retreat."
  5. JennsPeeps

    JennsPeeps Rhymes with 'henn'

    Jun 14, 2008
    South Puget Sound
    Watch the birds and you'll see certain patterns emerge: some birds always eat first, come out of the coop before the others, get more treats, and lead the others around the yard. Those tend to be the higher ranking birds.

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