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My chickens peck me- why? - Page 2

post #11 of 13
When a human handles and spends a lot of time in the company of their chicks they become part of the flock essentially. I don't really handle mine, I talk to them, I move them around but they still run in terror when young. When handled enough to lose that fear you are now included in the pecking order. If you don't understand how the behaviors within the pecking order are expressed you will probably end up dominated.

There's a learning curve to chickens as they reach sexual maturity. Similar to human children many young chickens become moody and wish to express that they are adults. Poor behavior often shows up at about 4-8 months, they can become a bully if at the top, or they can start hiding if on the bottom.

So you need to be prepared to deal with these behaviors as another top bird would. Chasing away or pushing them down into a submissive squat are two ways to deal with an extremely pushy bird. I wouldn't allow them to jump on you, or to feed directly from hand at that age. Throw stuff on the ground so they all can get some without you unintentionally bypassing the pecking order which often ends with a dominant hen punishing a subordinate hen for not respecting the order.

Within a flock of chickens the bottom hens would never peck on the top hens. Top hens will often take things out of subordinates mouths or even peck food off the face. I think chickens that are pecking at people are exploring, but there's also a note of the pecking order present in their actions. If you don't mind it, ignore it, if it bothers you than address it.

My chicks that are terrified of me grow up to be curious friendly adults that don't involve me in their pecking order, neither hens nor roosters challenge me. If you get involved than be ready for the outcome.

KrazyKat, I don't know why your hen is chasing you. Are you sure it isn't a rooster? I would certainly push it away when it boldly approaches you, if it doesn't help than gently push it to the ground and hold it for a few seconds.
Chickens, muscovy ducks, turkeys, donkeys , goats, dogs, fish, parakeets, a parrot, and a cat.

Chickens and dogs are healing to the soul.

I brake for squirrels.

Some of my birds.
http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/my-wisconsin-flock
Reply
Chickens, muscovy ducks, turkeys, donkeys , goats, dogs, fish, parakeets, a parrot, and a cat.

Chickens and dogs are healing to the soul.

I brake for squirrels.

Some of my birds.
http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/my-wisconsin-flock
Reply
post #12 of 13
Thank you for that insight! The whole flock follows me when I'm in the yard. They are no doubt spoiled and expect treats at all times. After your post, I believe we will start tossing food out until they can handle themselves a bit better. I didnt realize we were creating "monsters" by falling into the "this is so cute" trap! (Though that always seems to be how most pets end up as ill-behaved buttholes, so it makes sense!)

The chasing at the car thing just started and this morning I might have backed over her if I didn't have the reverse camera! I have a long driveway and we are well off the road, but I don't want them to get comfortable going down the drive and becoming the punchline to the 'why did the chicken cross the road' joke.
post #13 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by KrazyKatLady View Post

Thank you for that insight! The whole flock follows me when I'm in the yard. They are no doubt spoiled and expect treats at all times. After your post, I believe we will start tossing food out until they can handle themselves a bit better. I didnt realize we were creating "monsters" by falling into the "this is so cute" trap! (Though that always seems to be how most pets end up as ill-behaved buttholes, so it makes sense!)

The chasing at the car thing just started and this morning I might have backed over her if I didn't have the reverse camera! I have a long driveway and we are well off the road, but I don't want them to get comfortable going down the drive and becoming the punchline to the 'why did the chicken cross the road' joke.
So true. Sounds like you have a good plan in mind. You might have to start sneaking around on your chickens so they don't know you are leaving. I have had the yard following chickens, they are fun.
Chickens, muscovy ducks, turkeys, donkeys , goats, dogs, fish, parakeets, a parrot, and a cat.

Chickens and dogs are healing to the soul.

I brake for squirrels.

Some of my birds.
http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/my-wisconsin-flock
Reply
Chickens, muscovy ducks, turkeys, donkeys , goats, dogs, fish, parakeets, a parrot, and a cat.

Chickens and dogs are healing to the soul.

I brake for squirrels.

Some of my birds.
http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/my-wisconsin-flock
Reply
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