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Love or aggression?

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
I've had my chickens since Jan 1. They used to be skid dish but I acclimated them to me feeding, watering, and cleaning. Last week I started acclimating them to eating from my hand and being picked up. Yesterday I went inside to clean and everyone of them came to me immediately and started pecking at my boots. They started pecking at my fingers while I cleaned their sand in the run. One of the more skid dish ones even jumped on my back while I bent over to scoop some poop. I stood up slowly and she walked up to my shoulder. I looked her way and laughed then she pecked my temple. These are my first ever chickens. Does this sound like a good bonding or are they trying to eat me or scare me away?
post #2 of 5

Chickens are curious creatures, and they peck at things they are curious about.  They don't intend to hurt you, but watch your eyes, as they are shiny. (ask me how I know this)  If your fingernails or toes are painted red, they will peck them.  Some of my hens will peck at any fingernail polish that has sparkle.  They will also peck at jewelry.

Breeding Welsummers and Barnevelders.

 

Having an Icelandic in the coop is like having a 2 year old in the house - they are into everything and don't follow the rules.



Join us for the 7th Annual Easter Hatchalong!
http://www.backyardchickens.com/t/1074649/the-7th-annual-byc-easter-hatch-a-long/0_50

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Breeding Welsummers and Barnevelders.

 

Having an Icelandic in the coop is like having a 2 year old in the house - they are into everything and don't follow the rules.



Join us for the 7th Annual Easter Hatchalong!
http://www.backyardchickens.com/t/1074649/the-7th-annual-byc-easter-hatch-a-long/0_50

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post #3 of 5
Thread Starter 
I was thinking about that. I told my fiancé the story and she pointed out the large freckle on my temple. I'll bet the hen thought it was food. Most of them doing this are approximately 14 weeks old.
post #4 of 5

It's how chicks investigate their world. Their beaks tell them a lot about things, whether something is edible or not, a lot like human babies who test everything by putting it into their mouths.

 

Pecking is also part of their language and how they communicate. Not for nothing is it called the "pecking order". They learn very young that the flock is ranked according to who does the pecking and who gets pecked.

 

But please do watch those beaks! New chicken owners fail to realize how quickly a beak can peck an eye or snatch a stud out of your ear!

post #5 of 5

It's neither love nor aggression....it's about an inappropriate(IMO) quest for food.

I do not allow this behavior, you can 'teach' them not to peck or jump on you and still enjoy hand feeding.

 

Check out this thread: http://www.backyardchickens.com/t/1076033/what-does-this-behavior-mean


Edited by aart - 2/1/16 at 5:10am

Great article on VENTILATION, one of THE MOST IMPORTANT aspects of coop design.

Fantastic treatise to help decide how much SPACE your chickens need.

 

Chicken math is not just 'addition'...but also should include Division, Multiplication and especially Subtraction!!!

 

Quoting centrarchid:

"Make every effort to understand your chicken's biology and the environment that supports it."

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Great article on VENTILATION, one of THE MOST IMPORTANT aspects of coop design.

Fantastic treatise to help decide how much SPACE your chickens need.

 

Chicken math is not just 'addition'...but also should include Division, Multiplication and especially Subtraction!!!

 

Quoting centrarchid:

"Make every effort to understand your chicken's biology and the environment that supports it."

Reply
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