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pecking order

 
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I've just getting familiar with a new bunch of chickens at the property I moved onto. It's a small enough bunch that I'm just trying to figure out the pecking order. Just hens.

So does the one at the top of the pecking order lead the others? Or is she more likely to be herding them from behind? I haven't seen much actual pecking so how they move about the land is really my only clue so far.
 
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I haven't found there to be much discernable pecking order.The only time I maybe see it is when I am throwing a few bits of yummies out there (like spaghetti) the same ones always get it. But they are also the most tame ones also and maybe just aren't as hesitant to approach me. They all tend to do their own thing. Sometimes they move through the pasture in a jumbled line much like deer hunters will do through woods to flush deer, I've wondered whether this is an instinctive method for flushing insects. They are very reptilian and I  imagine them being tiny dinosaurs hunting in a pack! but I'm weird. 'spose not many people sit outside and pretend their chickens are dinosaurs
 
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The only time I see any aggressiveness in my four girls is when one goes broody and sits on the straw bales all day and then I have to pick her up and put her in the pen at night.  For some reason, one the other girls always seems to peck at her just at that time.

Tiny-brained omnivorous feathered dinosaurs... as predatory as they are, that sort of sounds reasonable.  And mine are named after old movie actresses, which makes the idea even more appropriate:  Henrietta, Tallulah, Agnes, and Myrna.

Sue
 
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