Who is the dominant hen

MarieCallandar

In the Brooder
5 Years
Apr 13, 2014
42
5
24
Utah
Hi, I'm fairly new to raising chickens, and I've learned alit since I got my first chicks 5 weeks ago. One of the things I have not been able to figure out is who is my dominant hen. I have a total of 7 birds 4 that are 5 weeks old and the rest 4 weeks old. What characteristics should I be looking so that I can find out. ( idk if breed matters within my flock because the buff Orpingtons are the oldest and not at the bottom of the pecking order like most would be)
 

azygous

Crossing the Road
10 Years
Dec 11, 2009
18,621
22,735
912
Colorado Rockies
It's a bit early in the game to tell. But what you want to look for is the one who acts "bossy". She will be aware of who is eatingand drinking and if it doesn't suit her, she'll peck the violator on the head, and that chicken will immediately leave the feeder and honor the wishes of the dominant bird.

It's a two-way street. It's not enough that one is a bully, but if the others respect that dominant bird, you've found the top bird.
 

MarieCallandar

In the Brooder
5 Years
Apr 13, 2014
42
5
24
Utah
I have two buff orps, 2 white Plymouth Rock, 2 EE's, an one barred rock. I watch them but they all go off and do their own thing none of ten really care who is eating/ drinking as of right now. Are they just to young to know?
 

Tuhmu

Songster
7 Years
May 22, 2012
1,460
168
212
North Dakota
It's probably to young to know, but there's a pretty good chance that the EE's will be towards the top and the orps will be towards the bottom.
But you just don't know till they decide, every chicken is different.
 

Mountain Peeps

Jesus is my life
Premium member
5 Years
Apr 23, 2014
28,450
5,630
647
Colorado
My Coop
My Coop
Hi! I would guess that your buff orps will be on top as that's always the case with my girls. Watch for food squabbles, one chick chasing another around, one pecking another (obviously!) Also one will peck the other on the head. When first establishing the pecking order chicks will have jumping/chest bumping turnaments. They will also have stare downs. Since you don't have a lot if chicks there shouldn't be too much fighting. Don't break up the fights as this is something that needs to be done. Only interfere if there is bloodshed or one chick is being bullied/ cornered. Also, the highest ranking bird will be the most observant, bossy and the most looked up to.

~Sarah
 

Tuhmu

Songster
7 Years
May 22, 2012
1,460
168
212
North Dakota
Hi! I would guess that your buff orps will be on top as that's always the case with my girls. Watch for food squabbles, one chick chasing another around, one pecking another (obviously!) Also one will peck the other on the head. When first establishing the pecking order chicks will have jumping/chest bumping turnaments. They will also have stare downs. Since you don't have a lot if chicks there shouldn't be too much fighting. Don't break up the fights as this is something that needs to be done. Only interfere if there is bloodshed or one chick is being bullied/ cornered. Also, the highest ranking bird will be the most observant, bossy and the most looked up to.

~Sarah
Perfect example of every hen is different.
I have the exact opposite with my buff orp being 2nd to last place on the totem pole. (my poor cochin sits at the bottom, takes everyones abuse
)
 

chickengeorgeto

Crowing
7 Years
Dec 25, 2012
8,048
4,099
431
Big Bend of the Tennessee River's Right Bank.
Hi, I'm fairly new to raising chickens, and I've learned alit since I got my first chicks 5 weeks ago. One of the things I have not been able to figure out is who is my dominant hen....
At 5 weeks you don't own a hen but when a hen is dominant all the rest in the flock give up what they are doing when the dominant hen shows up and if those hens don't exactly flee in terror the lower ranking hens will step aside and give the Uber hen the right of way.
 
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