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The Pecking Order - One Consideration when Introducing New Chickens to Your Flock

Introducing new chickens to your flock can be tricky. For some perspective, imagine if two strangers were dropped by aliens into your home. It would likely take you a few days to work out the personalities, reassign chores, adjust the living space, etc. Chickens share your concerns about new additions. That is where the pecking order comes into play. This is established by the strongest and most aggressive member literally bullying his/her way to the top. They do this by squawking, chasing, fluffing themselves up to look bigger, and pecking their coop mates. This pecking can get violent and can end in the death or injury of one of the other birds. Where this may seem mean, the system works pretty well for chickens. As stressful as this can be to watch, your intervention will not stop this process.

The pecking order usually has a rooster at the top. In the absence of a rooster, this will be a lead hen. The lead hen or rooster gets certain privileges, like the best nesting box or roost.…

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