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Who is the alpha chicken?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by vermontgal, Jan 8, 2009.

  1. vermontgal

    vermontgal Songster

    I'm interested to figure out my flock's pecking order... I only have 4 birds, so I didn't think it would be so hard.

    How do you tell who is the head chicken? My hen who was eating the treats, going first out doors, etc. is now being pecked on the comb regularly by another hen. Is she being challenged for top place? My hen (mild-mannered EE) who is never involved in any scuffles -- is she on the top or the bottom of the ranking?

    My gals are 27 & 28 weeks old, and only one (the one who I thought was the head chicken) is laying.

    Thanks for any opinions. How do I tell what is going on within the flock?
  2. Pumpkinpup

    Pumpkinpup Poultry Princess 10 Years

    Jul 16, 2008
    North-West Georgia
    Most often it is the one with the most demanding and pushy personality that is top hen. It is normally pretty obvious if you watch them for a bit.
    In my coop of BLRW's I have a tiny bantam roo, he is the ALFA and makes everyone else tow the lins [​IMG] It is a riot to watch!
  3. bigzio

    bigzio Crowing 11 Years

    Jan 20, 2007
    Pecking order changes from time to time, it usually never remains the same, although with only 4 birds the pecking order could be established without much competition.

    Since your birds are still only pullets,(hens are one year old) they are prolly just starting to figure things out.

    The order can even change after a molt, when everyone feels real pretty.

  4. vermontgal

    vermontgal Songster

    Thanks for that clarification on hen vs. pullet. I probably learned that in the past 6 months, but I was wrongly thinking that they would be hens when they started to lay. (OK, even then jumping the gun on 3 of them!).
  5. Dawn419

    Dawn419 Lost in the Woods

    Apr 16, 2007
    Evening Shade, AR
    I'm tha alpha chicken in my flock! [​IMG]

    Jamaica, our EE hen and the smallest hen is my 2nd in command though...


    Here's a pic with her some more of our gang so you can see how small she is...


    She even puts Romeo (Silver Spangled Hamburg roo) in his place! [​IMG]

  6. CoyoteMagic

    CoyoteMagic RIP ?-2014

    Like someone said, pecking order changes with the changes within your flock. Birds coming in and out changes the make up of things.

    My top bird is my year & half of Black sexie hen. She kicks my BIG roos but everytime he tries to mate her. He is like #4 in the flock. Another Black sexie and a RIR are above him to.

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