Social rank can influence lifetime reproductive success and therefore fitness. We examined the effects of morphology, age, previous social experience and aggressiveness on social rank in all-female flocks of red junglefowl. None of the morphological characters measured (mass, tarsus length, comb height or comb length) appeared to play a role in determining rank. Older females were not more likely to be dominant, while previous social experience and aggression levels were both important in dominance determination. Flock-experienced hens were more likely to be dominant as were more aggressive individuals. Red junglefowl females most likely use a combination of characters to establish social order in a newly formed flock. (C) 2000 The Association for the Study of Animal Behaviour.