Will removing a cockerel change the pecking order?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by NewlyHatchedEgg, Aug 10, 2014.

  1. NewlyHatchedEgg

    NewlyHatchedEgg Chirping

    Jun 16, 2014
    Hi, so like the title states, I will be removing a cockerel from my flock, and I'm wondering if this will change the pecking order. If so, what should I expect? I have 7 chickens that vary from 10-12 weeks old. I recently introduced an 11 week old pullet who is separated in an enclosed pen in the run and coop, which has already caused a shift in the pecking order. Any ideas on how this will change things? I have a Rhode Island red pullet who is really attached to him. All responses are appreciated.
  2. scratch'n'peck

    scratch'n'peck Crowing

    Oct 31, 2008
    West Michigan
    My Coop
    It will change the pecking order some, but usually the higher ranking hens remain higher ranking, but the cockerel is not there to intervene when they get extra bossy. I guess you will just need to watch and wait. You might want to hold off a bit more on letting the 11 week old with the others until things settle down.
  3. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Crossing the Road

    Mar 15, 2010
    On the MN prairie.
    Any change in flock dynamics changes the pecking order. It's impossible to say what to expect as they are living animals, and therefore unpredictable.
  4. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted

    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon
    At 10-12 weeks your pecking order is still quite fluid, so any changes will be accepted easily. Yes, there will be a shift, but nothing major due to the age of the birds.
  5. NewlyHatchedEgg

    NewlyHatchedEgg Chirping

    Jun 16, 2014
    Thank you everyone for responding. I do miss my cockerel, he was quick to intervene if all of the pullets were swarming the new girl, but sadly roosters are illegal in my city, and the neighbors complained today. I have a large moveable dog kennel that I added some perches to, and I placed it on the grass/weeds and put the old flock and new pullet in their for several hours. They seemed to work in shifts, the old flock foraging on the ground while the new girl is on the roost and vice versa. For the most part, they seem to ignore each other. There is some charging and chest bumping, but so far only the Rhode Island Red that used to hang out with the roo is pecking her. I have a feeling that she will be at the top of the pecking order. Thank you again for everyone who responded. I have been a nervous wreck this entire week worrying about integrating the new pullet and culling my first rooster.[​IMG]
  6. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    She probably already was head hen, they often hang out the with roo. I've seen the 'shift' thing happen too. Multiple feed/water stations can help too if you've can make room for them.

    It's hard, learning this chicken keeping thing, lots of aspects to figure out, but it sounds like you've got a pretty good handle on it....one lesson at a time. Good Job!

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