pecking order

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I am new to fish keeping this year, lots to learn, my question is do koi have a pecking order as when I feed them the big yellow fish is always first up and then they seem to come in order.
 
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I my experience yes their is a pecking order. I have a similar situation in my pond.
I have two goldfish in the pond that are a year older than the rest. They almost always eat first and rest seem to wait for them.
Every now and then somebody gets inpatient and steals a bite, but even then the feeding frenzy doesn't start until the big ones show up to eat.
The oldest female seems to spend allot of time bumping the smaller fish and chasing the them for short distances. She is the largest fish in the pond and seems to mostly chase the other females. I wouldn't call any of her behavior aggressive, just a fishy reminder of who is in charge.
The largest male is only aggressive when it come to eating and spawning.
 
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I'm not sure if they have a true pecking order like chickens, but some are definitely more aggressive eaters than others
 

Mmathis

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Hello and welcome!

I don’t have koi — goldfish only. There does seem to be some sort of “pecking order,” but with my guys it seems more related to size. The bigger ones barge in.....and the smaller ones retreat.
 
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You will generate aggressive behavior if there is not enough food for the entire school. Make sure you use a weight standard for feeding. Then the school will calm down.
 
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We don’t have a pecking order so much as we have a few who are bolder than the others. They are always the first to check out any situation, and the first to come up for food. The pond bosses. Haha!
 
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You will generate aggressive behavior if there is not enough food for the entire school. Make sure you use a weight standard for feeding. Then the school will calm down.
Obviously you have not you have not met Borris the goldfish who eats like a hoover vacuum cleaner.;)
 

Jhn

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No real pecking order, usually just a feeding free for all brought on by the orfes in the deep end of my pond. The shallow end of the pond is a little more subdued feeding area, still no pecking order there though, either
 
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I don't have koi, but I have a comet about 3" long that is a total jerk! It was the 2nd. fish I added to our little pond, and the largest of three total. It was always the first fish to hit the food, but was otherwise well behaved. Later on we added a couple more fish, and all went well for a couple weeks. Then it was as though this largest fish went into mock spawning mode, and chased everyone. It chased one of the newest fish to the point where it stressed out and died, and then started in on the 2nd. of the new pair. Thankfully I was able to scoop the stressed fish, let it recover, and returned it to the pond. Then, NO PROBLEMS, everyone getting along again....

Yesterday I caught that comet and transferred it to our larger pond. The goldfish in that pond are all larger, and he caused no trouble among them. Then today I scooped one more fish from the little pond to add to the big pond.... Now that comet has turned into a little :censored::mad: again, and is chasing the tar out of the smallest fish. The same fish that he was buddies with the day before at the little pond. So now I have to keep an eye on them to make sure he doesn't kill the smallest, and to make sure all his activity doesn't stress the others.

I've never seen a goldfish act so aggressively, other than spawning. If he keeps it up he just might take the water slide to the septic tank! So, yeah, I think they have a pecking order.
 
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My fish the first week I got them would just about flop on each other for the food. In the morning when feeding they seem eager, but no pecking order, beyond that at feeding they seem a lazy bunch when eating. They see me and they hover and wait, eat , with no hurrying involved.
 
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Thank you everyone
reading all your responses I seem to think it is size rather than some inborn respect,
The big yellow is some sort of a bully
P.S. I forgot to mention I have 8 fish ranging from 10" down to about 6" my pond is above ground 12' by 6' by 3' deep
 

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