Pecking order … it’s real!
It maintains the social order within the flock and they figure it out themselves
Each bird has a rank in the pecking order and its literally determined by pecking each other ?
Whoever is bigger, stronger, more aggressive becomes the bully at the top of the order of hens
There’s still gonna be an order of hens even if a rooster is managing the flock ?
How do they do this? ?
How do they figure this out?
They’ll start out by strutting
They’ll strut around and if that doesn’t work…
Then they’ll progress to fluffing their feathers, trying to look bigger than they are

If that doesn’t work, you might see them get up on their tiptoes and flap their wings and squawk like they’re screaming at somebody

If that still doesn’t work, then they resort to actually pecking
The one thing to be careful of if they’re pecking…
Make sure that they’re not breaking the skin
As long as there’s no blood, there’s no need to interfere
But, if somebody gets hurt in the whole process, then you definitely want to interfere ?
You don’t want them to maim one of your flock members by pecking too much
If they break the skin, it can become an infection
You don’t want to turn it into cannibalism because they will kill each other in severe cases
As long as they’re not breaking the skin and harming each other, let them go for it …
They have to work out their own little order within the flock ?
And understand who’s at what level, who’s in charge, who’s not in charge
What do they use this pecking order for?
The pecking order controls…
? who eats first
? who gets water first
? who gets to dust bath in the favorite spot
?who gets to use which egg box to lay her eggs
? who gets to sleep in which spot on the roosting bars
The pecking order controls everything the flock does
It’s really important to let them work it out and get it settled
Then once it’s settled…
The only time it happens again is …
? When someone gets out of line
? When a new member is introduced into the flock
? When a member is removed from the flock
What does the top hen get for doing all that work to get all the way up the pecking order to be number one?
She’s the special one ?
She’ll watch for predators if you don’t have a rooster ?
When she sees a predator or anything else that she deems to be dangerous …
She will rush everybody to safety
She’s also the expert forager for food ?
She is gonna be the one that sees the food when you first put it out
If they’re foraging out in free range, she’s gonna be the one who finds the food and calls everybody else over
She has the right to eat first because she’s number one ?
They want the top hen in the group to stay as healthy and strong as possible
Because she’s the one watching out for the predators
She has the right to eat first, but that doesn’t mean she actually does eat first
She usually let’s the rest of the flock eat first while she watches for the predators
Then when they’re done eating, she’ll eat.
While she’s watching out for predators while they eat, she just kinda walks around and looks around like she’s on guard ?
You might see her get up on a perch or a branch so that she can see better, a better vantage point
When they’re done eating, then she will go and take hers once she knows that her flock is taken care of
I thought that was kind of interesting because she did all that work to get to be number one and to be allowed to have all these things first and her way, but when it comes to food, she will actually defer to the flock and let them eat first so that she can make sure they stay safe
Watch your flock and see if you can figure out who is top hen.
Remember … Be The Organic U – Feed Your Soul
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