If the birds are in an area where you can watch them feed, and there are more than one family bunch there, watch when they first come in. Pecking order starts at day one for young birds. You'll see the young birds start to square off and the jakes will start to push each other around, until they get the pecking order figured out. the jennies will stay out of their way, but the jakes need to see who is the top bird. As more families bunch up the more they get going. It's a good way to tell which ones are the jakes in the family groups, until they start to get their feathers. That carries all through their life cycle, to be a dominant bird, and it starts right out of the egg. As they get older they will start to bunch up in groups jakes and jennies as they feed, and as they continue to get old the jakes will start to break away and go off on their own to keep trying to get more dominance as they chase the gobblers around in the spring. It takes a lot of watching but you can almost watch a jake go from an egg to a dominant bird in his area. The jennies do the same but not until later on in their life span to become a boss hen, in their group.
WI Youth & LTH Mentor
Dodge Co. NWTF