agressive chicks

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by arrienwilliams, Dec 30, 2014.

  1. arrienwilliams

    arrienwilliams Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 19, 2014
    Virginia
    I have 5 5 month old silkies that I watched hatch and have handled consistently from day 1. These silkies came from my 4 original silkies that were absolutely delightful and friendly. Only one of the roos would chase you but would rarely attack and was docile when held and petted. 3 of the chicks are roosters and 2 are hens. Then hens are kind and sweet and have never pecked anyone before. However, in the past few weeks the 3 boys have gotten out of control. One waits for its "prey" (cleaning ladies, my mother, guests, family dogs, me, etc) and runs up to attack when he can. Every time he's picked up he turns his neck around and pecks who's holding him. This one has always had an aggressive side but it's never been this bad. The second one has been as sweet as the hens until a few days ago. Now he pecks whoever holds him or whenever you reach for him. I was bending down filling feed dishes and he jumped up and pecked my face, drawing blood and leaving a nasty bite Mark. My hands are all torn up from handling them, which I do sparingly now. I just don't understand how these chicks went from loving and gentle to downright mean and nasty. They've never been abused or mistreated and I've treated them like kittens, cuddling with them and petting them all the time. My question is, can you train it out of them? Is there a way to effectively scold them? Is there a method of giving treats that makes them realize you're not the enemy? Has anyone had any success in making mean boosters pleasant, or at least less aggressive? Does anyone know why roosters can go from sweet to aggressive in a few days? Or what can cause this behavior change? I refuse to cull them as I have so few and love them dearly. Please help!

    edited by staff
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 30, 2014
  2. enola

    enola Overrun With Chickens

    Are these chickens in your house?
     
  3. arrienwilliams

    arrienwilliams Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 19, 2014
    Virginia
    Nope! They free range during the day and sleep in the coop at night.
     
  4. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    He is asserting dominance over the people who are trying to handle him, which he considers an assertion of dominance on their (your) part. It's a matter of regaining the dominant position in the flock, in his eyes. I've only had this problem a few times, myself, and have been able to manage it simply by wallking determinedly toward him any time he appeared to be thinking about coming after me. Some are much more difficult to manage than others -- and, really, some can never be. But picking him up in a way he can get at your face is not the way to go about it. One approach is to firmly hold him under one arm as you would a fotball and walk around with him for several minutes, or til he stops struggling. Here's a link to an article abou rooster management. There are many threads here on the subject. as well.

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/keeping-a-rooster
     

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