Tuesday, May 29, 2012

The pecking order

I have come to fully understand and experienced what the pecking order really is! 
Over the last year, I have had my first flock of 4 chickens and never really saw one taking over the others and claiming her place.  This was until I introduced 4 additional lovely chicks!
My beautiful big brahma named Rosie has now claimed her place on top of the pecking order!  She will ensure that no chick whatsoever is in her way.  She can’t stand the charming clucking of chicks becoming pullets around her, she can’t stand when they eat…She runs from one side to the other to ensure they get out of her way.  She is the boss.  She walks around the run like a dangerous shark keeping an eye on her surroundings.  It is not only the chicks she can’t stand but also Paulette, my broody Partridge Rock.  As soon as I get Paulette out of the nesting box to get her to eat and drink, Rosie has the uncontrollable need to pecking her and running after her.
The once peaceful coop has become very active.  I find myself standing in the run chasing Rosie to allow the little ones to eat some.  The good thing going for the younger girls is they can fly and fly they do!  Great way to escape from Rosie and Sweeney (Speckled Sussex) who is the next one pecking the chicks!  As I mentioned, Paulette is broody so for the most part she leaves the chicks alone (otherwise, she also would peck them).  The only one who could care less is my fantastic black sex link, Gossie, not only she is one of my best layers but she is friendly and gentle.  She even bunks with the chicks, kind of saying to the others “they are not that bad!”
It is going to be very interesting once the young girls are fully grown.  I am not sure if they will continue to allow the pecking order that way or if one of them would take over…
In the meantime, we get endless entertainment watching the young chicks running from one side of the coop to the other, Rosie roaming the coop and the run like she is queen of the castle and Sweeney right behind her.  There is little squawk and squeak every once in a while, a little feather being pulled but in the end, they somehow all seem to co-habit just fine.  Everyone has a place in the pecking order.

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