When is pecking order established???

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Gainesvillechickenlover, Apr 16, 2008.

  1. Gainesvillechickenlover

    Gainesvillechickenlover In the Brooder

    Mar 16, 2008
    We had older chickens a while back and the pecking order was established right away. Starting with our Black Jersey Giant, RIR, The two White Rocks, and then the Buff Orpington. These girls have since passed away and we wanted to get more chickens starting with chicks. They are 8 weeks old but seem to get along wonderfully. When will a pecking order start or not.
  2. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD

    They probably already put one together and will do a few order swaps now and then as they grow up.
  3. gumpsgirl

    gumpsgirl Crowing

    Mar 25, 2008
    I'm sure they have already established one at that age. My chicks are only 4 weeks old and I have noticed the pecking order thing going on!
  4. rooster-red

    rooster-red Here comes the Rooster

    Jun 10, 2007
    Douglasville GA
    By 8 weeks it is already established.
  5. stilwellchick

    stilwellchick Songster

    Jun 16, 2007
    Stilwell, KS
    There is a subtle pecking order being established now that is not recognized by humans but they know it. Not all pecking order is established with bloodshed. Sometimes the biggest chick or the most active one. Everybody always has the most curious chick/hen don't they? Sometimes it is the one who roosts the highest, first out of the coop or first to get to the treats or special food. Sometimes it is just with a look, noise or a chase off from time to time. In pecking order rules they can only discipline any under them. So if you are number 1 you can rule all of them. If you are second to the bottom you can only rule the bottom one. Pecking order works well until one breaks the rules or there is a reason to move up or at least try to. It seems to work for them although it can seem unfair to us. A pecking order working well should be very subtle without any fighting. I never get involved unless there is blood drawn. Good grief, it's middle school all over again!
  6. catfish

    catfish Songster

    Apr 13, 2008
    Greenbrier, Arkansas
    My 12 day olds way in their play pen today, I was laughing at them doing the chest bump, peck, trying to sort it all out.

    Do hens bump and peck too at an 12 days?
  7. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

    Nov 9, 2007
    SW Arkansas
    My two roos are the only ones not fighting for their place in the pecking order. They sit quietly by while the girls fight like a bunch of old...well...biddies. I did notice my little buff roo getting hen pecked by the biggest girl today. Poor thing.
  8. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD

    Yep, differential behavior due to hormones won't really kick in solidly till they are 2-3 months old or so, or older in some breeds As young chicks, boys and girls will do the same types of fighting and pecking.
  9. youthpastor

    youthpastor In the Brooder

    Apr 9, 2008
    Vancouver Island, BC
    my chicks are 4 weeks old, and i've noticed often that its the smallest one of the bunch showing the most aggression. maybe insecure?:lol:trying to make up for something?[​IMG]

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