Another Newbie Question - Help with Behaviors

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by blacktailsmom, Oct 26, 2009.

  1. blacktailsmom

    blacktailsmom Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 26, 2009
    Okay, now I know where the whole "hen pecked" saying comes from. My largest hen, Blacktail, pecked the back of my leg, drawing blood. Now, when I am out, especially without jeans, she tries to circle around me to the back of my legs (or I may be paranoid). Today, with jeans on, she pecked my knee cap ... there is not a shiny spot or loose thread. I have RIRs which jump up if you are carrying food to them. Blacktail was attacked and has a scar around her neck, so we tend to give her extra consideration. Any thoughts on this?

    Also, are we close to eggs? We got them in May this year, so they are at least 5 months old, and I have noticed extra feathers on the ground. They are way down in the sand at the bottom of their run. At least three inches, and it isn't hot like it was this summer. They are getting darker wattles? We don't have boxes yet, as I was told they wouldn't until spring.
     
  2. Peeper7

    Peeper7 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    [​IMG]

    Are you sure Blacktail is a pullet? The behavior is more like a rooster -- unless she is spoiled [​IMG] ...
    You really need to stop that behavior of the pecking. If you think she's behind you turn around and chase HER. I've done this (and other things) with some aggressive RIR roos and they seem to be behaving. I've also booted them if they come at me.... they fly nicely [​IMG].
    Another thing you can try is picking her up and carrying her around like a football. It reminds them that you are the boss.
    You can't reason with animals, you just have to act like one yourself. good luck!
     
  3. Imp

    Imp All things share the same breath- Chief Seattle

    I'm not sure what your questions are, but here goes...

    If you want Blacktail to stop pecking you, try picking her up everytime she tries to peck you. Carry her around for a few minutes to teach her that you are top hen.

    Just saw that peeper7 already answered

    You may get eggs in the winter. Better to be prepared than sorry. Good luck

    Imp
     
  4. possumqueen

    possumqueen Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 17, 2009
    Monroe, North Carolina
    [​IMG] from me, too!

    I'm with Peeper7. That's roo behavior. Another tactic to try is a spray bottle or even a water pistol. If Blacktail even looks like she/he is THINKING about it, you let fly with the water. And don't stop with a little spritz, either. Chase him down and spray him all the way, so that in his tiny brain he'll think, "Uh oh. Bad idea."[​IMG]
     
  5. blacktailsmom

    blacktailsmom Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 26, 2009
    Wow, Thank you thank you!

    First, I am trying to keep pants on. I have lots of freckles and that may cause some confusion for her. She may be spoiled, as she survived an opposum attack - twice. We started giving treats starting two weeks ago. They run up to us now, expecting treats. Is that what is meant when a chicken is spoiled?

    I find that keeping a broom with me seems to put her off. I will try the picking up method too. We had stopped picking her up as much, because she was recovering with a neck wound. Plus they are all getting so fast! My 3 year old chases them continually, which seems to have worked up their leg muscles.

    At first we weren't sure if she were a rooster, as her behaviour has always been remarkably aggressive. She is the biggest, and looks the farthest along in development. I am not shy with my kids, but with the chickens I wasn't sure what would be too much, since we were told to be very gentle, that even petting too much could kill them. (Before I found BYC to seek advise from).

    What's with the digging in the sand? Just preening?

    Thank you so much. This is awesome, especially after I missed my chance to head to the meet on Sunday morning.
     
  6. chicksrcool

    chicksrcool Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hehe, mine just pecked my neck yesterday going after a mole...hurt quite a bit. I was holding her so can't really blame her too much. But I can imagine it could get a little dangerous with them being close to our eyes, etc. Eek...don't even want to think about a pecked eyeball! [​IMG]
     
  7. blacktailsmom

    blacktailsmom Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 26, 2009
    http://urbanchickens.org/gallery/blacktail-hooktail
    Quote:I saw a post that cautioned of that with kids (think it was on urban chicken forum) and that one of his/hers took out her contact lens. It was lying on the ground. I was shocked.

    I am so happy to find this website with all these posters. Here is a photo of two of the three girls, Blacktail is on the right (you the viewers right) you'll notice a few neck feathers missing.

    [​IMG] Now to see if I got it to work.
     
  8. blacktailsmom

    blacktailsmom Out Of The Brooder

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    [​IMG][/img]
     
  9. Omani

    Omani Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I agree with everybody else. That sure sounds like rooster behavior to me. My guys and gals were also born in May, but they have already started to lay. Spring sounds kinda late to me to wait for eggs. I didn't think that RIRs took that long to mature.
    All my girls scratch holes in the dirt. It's natural; they're looking for goodies just under the surface. During the summer they did it because the ground was cooler a bit deeper down. And rather than make new holes, they just continued the ones already there. Right about now you could lose a small car in one of them.[​IMG]
    I think if carrying Blacktail doesn't work, you might have to resort to what I had to do. I wear a long flannel shirt out to the coop. When my rooster decides to attack, I wave it around like a bull fighter. At least until I can get to the door and get some fence between he and I.
     
  10. Peeper7

    Peeper7 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Northeast Ohio
    Hmmm, sure looks like a pullet in the photo. Certainly they can be aggressive too. I just broke up a scrap between a turkey hen and a silkie hen -- through the chain link fence. It was actually very comical.

    Animals "spoil" easily. If they get pushy to get what they want, they are spoiled and have trained YOU to give treats etc. It's cute for about a minute, but then they take liberties and will be aggressive.

    Last weekend I DID get pecked in the eyeball by a "sweet" shy little easter egger who I hand fed exactly twice because she was nervous in with new birds.
    I don't think she meant to hurt me, and of course I had my face in hers talking to her. It's a good thing she did not do any damage, but I would really watch kids around them.
     

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