Which hen is the dominate one?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by WA23, Sep 14, 2008.

  1. WA23

    WA23 Songster

    Aug 17, 2008
    Northwest WA State
    So if you don't have a rooster, how can you tell where the chickens are in the pecking order? Which one is on top? I only have six so I thought it would be easy to tell, but I am not so sure. I have been watching closely, and I think I have it narrowed down to two, but am not sure.

    Not that it really matters. Just a curiosity question.
  2. redoak

    redoak Songster

    Feb 27, 2008
    Russia, NY
    I really only notice the dominate behavior when I put really good treats all in the same place and don't spread them out. When this happens one hen will peck at another once or do a mock peck and the less dominate hen moves away. I think my smallest hen is my alpha hen, and she was one of the last to lay.
  3. tvtaber

    tvtaber Songster

    Aug 2, 2007
    Central CA
    The one that seems the most responsible for the others, not just the most aggressive or bullying. It can be very subtle. I noticed our white leghorns (can't tell them apart, there are two) are in charge when they started herding the others to safety after a loud noise. Since then I've seen them "correcting" the others for overstepping their bounds with treats, etc.
  4. Wynette

    Wynette Moderator

    Sep 25, 2007
    It took me quite a long time to realize who was the dominant hen. Ends up, she's the one that always comes to me first - she's not afraid at all, the others are more tentative. But, I put a new pullet in with the adult hens a few months ago, and it was CLEAR who was dominant, then! Dominant one chased newcomer around, pecked her HARD a few times, and continued to let her know her place in the pecking order. The others could have cared less.
  5. Marlinchaser

    Marlinchaser Songster

    Oct 18, 2007
    My guess would be the one on top. [​IMG]

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