Friday, March 27, 2009

A Change in the Pecking Order?

Our youngest chicken, CheepersV (7 weeks), has integrated nicely with the two older birds (12 weeks) and even the light pecking to determine the pecking order has all but ceased.

But an interesting development caught my eye. The little bird still follows the older birds around and generally stays near them but out of their way. And the older birds do boss her around when they feel the need. However, when it comes to treats (bits of kitchen scraps, bugs, etc.) CheepersV assumes the role of the middle bird in the pecking order.

When we bring out treats, one of the older birds (Mohawk) runs up eagerly and snaps up whatever we have. The other older bird paces nervously but cannot seem to muster the courage to touch the food while we're present. CheepersV not only runs up to grab the food, but she will also take food from the more shy older bird, sometimes snatching morsels right from her beak with no repercussions.

I'm wondering if this is a kind of shift in the pecking order, or if the one older bird is just not that dominant when it comes to food. Also, it makes me a bit paranoid that maybe CheepersV is really a he.

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