Thursday, March 24, 2011

Pecking Order

Birds of a feather flock together... ever heard that? Well, they do. If you've ever had chickens you will notice they are very regimented. They have a pecking order that determines who outranks who. We had a mixed flock years ago when we lived at Horseshoe Bend. The flock included white leghorns, Rhode Island Reds, a couple Domineckers and an old banty hen. We also had a few ducks just for fun. The hens got along, for the most part. The Rooster was a handsome fellow, he could stretch himself to appear very tall and important, and he would take that stance to put the ducks into line if they tried to get the hens worms. There was order on his watch! We hatched out another rooster one year and as you may have guessed, he didn't last long. About the time he reached the impetuous teen years he met with an untimely death after being rude once too often to our blue tick hound. I don't want to go any further with that story.

The girls were happiest when they had free range to hunt for bugs over the pasture, their days were nothing but sunshine, lollipops and rainbows. At bedtime, the lines were drawn in the coop. They would fly up to their roosting spots, always the same and predetermined by their status in the flock. The ones who set closest to Mr. Big were at the top rungs of the pecking order. They were his favorites (I'm not going to say WHY they were his favorites) and they derived a certain satisfaction by being his "Chosen!"

The whites would be together, the reds would line up side by side, my speckled Domineckers would face the opposite direction and lastly Ol' Lady Banty all by her lonesome on a separate lower roosting pole. I didn't say it was fair or just, it's just the way it was. Some of them were Democrats, some were Republicans and then there was that one lone Libertarian!


  1. Oh I wonder what goes through their little brains.

  2. I enjoyed that.

  3. I love to watch the chickens.

    We have never figured out why the rooster after being closeted with his girls all night gets very randy when first released. His harem
    runs for their lives.

    But when we feed scraps, he picks up a piece and drops it at their feet. I have never seen him actually eat a piece....just picks them up and clucks to the girls to come running and they do.

    I hope he lives forever; he is the gentlest of roosters and I am never afraid to turn my back on him.

  4. That is all very true and I have seen horses and donkeys do it too. The horses will totally ignore the donkeys! ;D

  5. Horses do the same thing!...My gelding has a napolean complex too. I am so looking forward to these chicks I have coming.

    Fun post!

  6. I wonder which bunch will vote for Health Care Reform! Great post, Joycee!!!...:)JP

  7. Thanks for visiting my blog! Pleased to meet you. I glanced through some of your recipes, and I think I may have to try a couple out this weekend.


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