Aggressive Hen?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by RavenStorm, Mar 9, 2009.

  1. RavenStorm

    RavenStorm Songster

    Jun 1, 2008
    Southern CA
    Hey peoples, one of my hens fancies herself to be the dominant chicken of the bunch. All of the others will squat down or "present" to me except her. I have seen her lay an egg with my own eyes so I know she is a girl, and I know that when there is no rooster sometimes a hen will take the alpha spot. There didn't used to be a problem, but this past week every time she sees me she attempts to attack my foot. She does a little hop and then bolts towards my feet, and it feels like someone is stabbing me and then pinching down and pulling my skin with needle-nosed pliers! I have changed my footwear but she keeps attacking and I can't wear these boots when the weather gets hot. I checked out Rooster Red's page on aggressive roosters, but so far those tips haven't been working. I need some ideas because she just started laying and it would be such a waste of effort to just toss her in the pot!

  2. skunknchatter

    skunknchatter Songster

    Aug 19, 2007
    Northern Utah
    This might not be widely excepted but I had one hen give me a nasty bite on the ankle and my reaction (with out even thinking) was a swift kick. She hasn't done it since. It's been 3 months. I'm not saying go out and punt your hen across the yard just telling you what I did. I didn't even think. It just hurt so bad I kicked out and knocked her back a few feet.
  3. RavenStorm

    RavenStorm Songster

    Jun 1, 2008
    Southern CA
    Actually that was my first subliminal reaction as well, but she was not at a good spot for me to get her (she has been coming at my heel and my feet tend to go up when in pain instead of back) when I kicked.
  4. cmom

    cmom Hilltop Farm

    Nov 18, 2007
    My Coop
    One of my hens would puff up at me and peck. I picked her up even if she didn't want to be. She was attacking my pullets and getting on top of them and pecking at them and pulling out feathers. When I could catch her at it I had a hose handy with a fire nozzle and gave her a blast of water. It sure took her by surprise... She got off and ran into the hen house and didn't come out for quite awhile. She doesn't puff up and peck at me anymore. Now she squats for me.
  5. Delta2 23

    Delta2 23 Flock Master

    Sep 4, 2008
    Aw, how sweet. She thinks she's a boy....
    As for the pecking, I think the other two suggestions are great! I've never had my chickens peck me before. They think I'm their mum and will wait for hours outside my door.....
    You could do something to really scare her, then she will be too scared to come up to you in case you do it again. I put my chicken on a really high branch in a tree and she was petrified coz she couldn't fly down!
  6. Attack Chicken

    Attack Chicken [IMG]emojione/assets/png/2665.png?v=2.2.7[/IMG] Hu

    Sep 25, 2008
    Indianapolis, IN
    I have a mean hen to and she's my only hen! She has drawn blood from me and will come at me across the yard.
  7. mrsbos

    mrsbos Chirping

    Aug 11, 2010
    Greenacres, WA
    Quote:So glad to hear I'm not alone in this. My sweetest (or at least used to be the sweetest hen) has gone evil! She is the lowest on the pecking order, a runt of a hen, but loves to attack my feet. She'll even chase me down and lunge at my leg and bite me for absolutely no reason! She started turning aggressive at around 9 months old and gets meaner every day! She used to squat for me like the other 2 hens.....but not since she turned mean. She even attacked me with her feet today----coming at me with wings flapping and both feet in the air! This is the sweet pullet I took to the the kids' school last February to talk about how great backyard chickens were, and how great they were as pets. She was the favored chicken who always got to hang out in the house and cuddle with the kids. Now I have to make sure I have hard shoes on and long pants if I want to go in my own backyard when she's free-ranging so I won't get injured. She also always tries to jump on my head/back if I'm squatting down or sitting on the ground. She's been a great egg producer for the last 7 months (one almost every day) but I'm tired of her attitude. I'd have no problem eating her, but she is so small (the size of a large banty if that makes any sense) so I doubt she'd be much for meat. Not sure it'd be worth the trouble to try to find someone to "process" her. At only 14 months old, maybe I could sell her to someone who wants the pretty olive eggs.

    It doesn't help that I think all my 3 EEs are molting now, the days are getting shorter, and I've gone 2 days with no eggs from any of them!

  8. UncleTommy

    UncleTommy Songster

    Jul 19, 2011
    Sanger, CA
    Its all about dominance, sometimes a pecking order gets shuffled and she seems to think you're below her. I had one nip at me once, I nipped back, got a hold of a few feathers and didn't let go (no worse than she did to the young roo and pullets i'd brought in), when i did let go, I let her know it could happen again (i made a little bitey beak with my fingers). Hasn't been a problem since. Its funny, that roo must have a memory, hes started trying to mate and he is only interested in her, dark brahma on top of a little EE. This is what worked for me, but these hens aren't my pets (now, the chicks i'm raising, that'll be different), so the real mean ones (to each other) have gotten the pot.

    If you want to go the less confrontational route you could carry her around everywhere you go, or you could just reshuffle the pecking order by giving her a time out for a few days. When you toss her back in, she'll be low man on the totem pole and the other chickens will still see you as top dog.
  9. CoopDeDoo

    CoopDeDoo Songster

    Feb 8, 2011
    NW Washington State
    When this type of behavior - puffing up, charging people, biting to the point of breaking skin, is being exhibited by a 12.5 week old - is it still possible for it be an aggressive pullet or are we most likely looking at a roo?

    I ask because, this morning when I let my girls out of their coop, my 12.5 week old orlorf did this. The 3 little girls (12.5 weeks) have been out with the 4 big girls for a month and things have gone pretty smoothly. Some nosiy times for the first couple of days and then the big girls decided the little ones weren't worth bothering with as long as they stayed out of their way.

    I had been noticing the orlorf was pecking her 2 companions a little roughly and saw her attempt to jump on their back but it was a quick thing - not an all day thing. Orlorfs are slow to mature so she is still feathering in on her back and I can't tell if her saddle feathers are pointy due to the small size.

    Should I be concerned about roo potential?
  10. debid

    debid Crowing

    Jan 20, 2011
    middle TN

    You should start your own thread. Take pictures and post on the What Breed/Gender board. You'll get much more help that way.

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