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Understanding Pecking

Understanding the pecking order of your flock will give you new insight and enjoyment from watching your birds. The pecking order is what regulates the communal harmony of the flock. There are three distinct comparable pecking orders that need to be established in a flock that contains both hens and roosters. One involving the roosters, one involving the hens and one involving the roosters and the hens.

There are ways to maintain a stable pecking order and thus reducing stress within your flock.

  • Make sure your flock has plenty of room. Overcrowding will always lead to pecking and Cannibalism within your flock.
  • Make sure that lower ranking birds have a place to escape to, either a hiding place or just enough space to get out of their way.
  • If you have more than one rooster, be sure to space feeders in different locations so each rooster and his ladies has their own feeder and waters.
  • Avoid constantly adding new birds into the flock. This disrupts the current pecking order and a new pecking order will need to be established.
  • If you want to introduce new birds, do so during the evening after the flock has settled in for the night.
  • If your flock is constantly pecking at each other, take a second look at their environment. Do they have plenty of floor and roosting space? Do they have adequate food and water?

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