Aggression during the molt.


8 Years
Mar 15, 2011
Denver, CO
Hello all. I have a SLW hen, the bottom of the pecking order of my three hens, who is molting and last week started pecking me. Last year, toward the end of her first molt at around 9 months, I noticed her doing the chest bump thing all over again with her sisters. The other two weren't impressed and and nothing changed. The other day she peck, peck, pecked and I was stunned. This morning she sort of charged my hand while I was giving treats and I saw that chest bump look in her eye and it instantly reminded me of her behavior last year! It's not like she comes at me from across the yard, it's just if my hand gets close enough she seizes the opportunity. I'm suffering enough that her two sisters don't feel like cuddling as they look something like hedge hogs, and now this. I may need to get a stuffed chicken to cuddle till everything settles down. Anyone else experience this?

**Update - I just gave them some scraps and when I went to pick up the bowl, she went after me. I moved the bowl to the left and she went left, right she went right. I blocked her attack again and again. The she started acting like a rooster! She jumped up, flaired her neck feathers and and came at me with her feet! I could have kept her at it as long as I wanted. Then I switched to moving my foot in front of her and she started sparing with my it! I ended the battle with a significant kick and she gave up. I figured I had to win or I'd have trouble later on. It's so upsetting to be attacked by your sweet baby. :(
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8 Years
Feb 25, 2011
Moulting is uncomfortable for chickens, and some of them get pretty cranky during the process. She'll probably go back to her old charming self by the end of it. Though most of the time they lose their standing in the flock because they get sensitive and run from the others during molt.

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