2 yr RIR hen suddenly hostile to teenage girl!

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by phoebe, Sep 18, 2010.

  1. phoebe

    phoebe Out Of The Brooder

    Jul 15, 2008
    My 2 yr old RIR hen, our long-time favorite, suddenly has started pecking at and chasing my fourteen year old daughter, who has always picked up her, taken her on swing rides, fed her, and cared for her. The flock went through some changes this summer that left Red distraught and she stopped eating and drinking until we babied her back to health with a lot of apple cider vinegar. Two of her friends left the flock, two new ones came in and she fell to the bottom of the flock, I rehomed one of those and brought in a gentler hen, and now Red appears to be at the top of the flock again. Could this have something to do with her newly ferocious behavior? Or could she have long-term memory and a grudge against my daughter, who kicked her away hard the first time Red pecked her hard. Any suggestions for how to deal with this? My daughter loves our hens but is traumatized by the fact that she herself has apparently been demoted. She's afraid to put the hens away now for fear of being chased by Red. Thanks for any tips.
  2. Judy

    Judy Chicken Obsessed Staff Member Premium Member

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    It's most likely the result of adjustments they are making to the pecking order; nothing your daughter did. That's just the way it goes with chickens. Sorry. Your daughter will be learning about pecking orders, anyway.
  3. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

    May 3, 2009
    New Jersey
    She is top of the pecking order at the present time, and she is just putting your daughter in her place- lower on the pecking order. Such behavior can be adjusted firmly but not painfully with a rolled up newspaper or soft broom. Kicking at only reinforces the behavior. That is how other chickens fight back. She needs to be convinced that she is a chicken and that humans are dominant.

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