Chicken Flock Positions

Learn about chicken flock hierarchy positions including rooster, head hen, sentinel, and bottom of the order.

By Melissa Caughey
December 2017

How to Speak Chicken Cover

How to Speak Chicken (Storey Publishing, 2017) explores tips, tidbits, and scientific facts that are essential for raising your own backyard chickens. Understanding the way chickens sense the world and communicate impending danger, techniques for watching your flock, and insights into how they establish pecking order are all covered by author Melissa Caughey. Additionally she offers insight into chicken body language, intelligence, social interaction, emotion, and problem solving abilities. 

Within the flock there are a few key functions. In a large flock, the chickens that do not have specific roles sort themselves into their own ranking. When a hen can no longer perform in her specific role, she is quickly replaced by another. Perhaps the replacements were their understudies all along.