Biting Hen

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Attila the Hen, Dec 6, 2011.

  1. Attila the Hen

    Attila the Hen Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 6, 2010
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    I have one hen that bites me sometimes on the foot. I usually pick her up and give her attention. If I put her down too soon, she'll bite again. I am wondering if she is doing this for attention or if it is a dominance thing. I don't believe she is at the top of the pecking order--maybe 2nd in line. When I pick her up we are face to face and she could peck me then but she doesn't. She has pecked my hand and the top of my head the other day when I leaned into the coop.
    One other thing is that I may be giving treats too closely in time and so she associates treats with pecking. I am not consistent in the treats and in fact as I think about it, will stop. I find the chickens have about a 60 second memory span. They rush out as soon as I arrive home but by the time I bring out the treats they have forgotten and left!!!! Silly birds.
     
  2. mythkat

    mythkat Chillin' With My Peeps

    My hen, Rusty, would peck my feet until I picked her up. She wanted to be held for about 10 minutes or so. If I put her down too soon she would peck my feet again until I held her again. If she was in my lap she wouldn't let any of the other hens sit with her. She passed this summer while sitting on my lap. Just fell asleep. [​IMG]
     
  3. Attila the Hen

    Attila the Hen Chillin' With My Peeps

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    That's so sad.............
     
  4. OC closet chicken fan

    OC closet chicken fan Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My production red is the only one that bites my hands when i refill the feeder or change the waterer... i am not sure but maybe she's just curious and pecks or bite because she can... like seeing how my fingers taste...non of my chickens like to be handled and red is the only that bites especially if my hands are moving towards her... so i am curious too...

    mythkat, at least rusty had a great life and went to where she was the most comfortable, in your lap...for sure there was a bond there... hope someday my chickens will completely trust me
     
  5. Nonny

    Nonny Chillin' With My Peeps

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    At a guess I'd say she's pecking because she's hoping for a treat. If you put her down after only a short time and still pecks, it might be because she still doesn't believe you don't have any. Only after a long period of holding her does she finally figure out she's not getting any and is happy to be put down and go about her merry way.
     
  6. azygous

    azygous Chicken Obsessed

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    Colorado Rockies
    Does she bite? Or is it more of a peck? I consider a bite as being what my rooster Penrod used to do before I gained his trust and he finally quit surgically removing plugs of flesh from my hands.

    Chickens explore the world with their beaks. They also communicate with them. It's how they socialize among the flock, administering discipline as well as bonding with each other through preening. So your hen is trying to communicate with you. If it's more of a peck than a bite, you have a friend. If it's painful and raises a blood blister, you have a problem.
     
  7. Attila the Hen

    Attila the Hen Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:I'm afraid it's both depending on when. She usually chases my feet and pecks my shoe which doesn't hurt or just pulls at the sock. However, she has bitten my hand and bruised it. A complicated chicken?
     
  8. azygous

    azygous Chicken Obsessed

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    Yes. Complicated girl. She's trying to tell you something with these pecks and bites. I painful "bite" could signify she finds something you do threatening. You need to pay attention to context. What are you doing when she bites?

    If it's a gentle peck, she may be asking you to give her affection. I have several of these types. One even "paws" me like a puppy when she wants me to pick her up and snuggle her. Others peck me on the backs of my legs when they think others are getting more attention than they are. These pecks almost never cause discomfort.
     

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