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Saturday, July 21, 2012

Chicken Pecking Order (Blog Ninety-Five)

The picture I have posted on this blog entry shows four of our five hens waiting for me to drop a piece of bread among them.  Bread is our chickens' second favorite treat, following only an ear of corn.  On the perimeter of the picture frame, you can barely see Violet, last on the pecking order in our chicken run.

Elaine and I have been raising chickens since May of 2011, and one of the most fascinating aspects is the strict pecking order that exists.  The alpha female is clearly Ruby with Tallulah a distant second.  Tallulah, clearly our smartest chicken, more on that in a later blog, is not as aggressive or as athletic as Ruby, which thinks she can fly (periodically she takes off on low to the ground semi-flights) and definitely can run faster than any of our other hens.

Next on the pecking order, and far behind Tallulah, come Dot and Little Spotty Hen, both of which seem quite content with her station in life.  Then far behind those two (even Dot and Little Spotty will occasionally torment the hen last in the pecking order) poor little Violet.  I use the word little because Violet is just a tad smaller in size than our other hens.  The proverbial statement "size matters" does seem relevant in our run.

In the picture, there is no point in Violet crowding in among the others because if she did her four superiors would thrash her.  I guess she will just have to be content with her station in life.

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