Can't calm a bad hen

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by GimmeCake, Sep 29, 2013.

  1. GimmeCake

    GimmeCake Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I got this Dominique pullet that is about 20 weeks old. She turned aggressive a few weeks ago and I can't seem to calm her down. She always makes the "ground threat" call when I'm around and tries her best to peck at me. She has gotten to the point where by simply trying to grab the eggs inside the coop, she tries to peck at me, and always causes bleeding where she pecks at (sometimes a small amount, sometimes quite a bit for a little a peck, and it HURTS). I've tried holding her, but it never works out because the whole time she's screaming the "ground threat" call while scratching my arms in an attempt to escape. I don't know what to do now. I don't really want to send her to freezer camp, so I'm trying my best to try and calm her down. It seems like any attempts to get near her is just asking for her to attack me again. What should I do?
     
  2. Kelsie2290

    Kelsie2290 True BYC Addict Premium Member

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    A lot of pullets get pretty crazy in the weeks before they start laying. They usually don't get aggressive but do get flighty and spooky and loud. They usually settle down once they start laying. Always figured it is their hormones making them act up. With the aggressive behavior, you are sure it is a pullet and not a cockeral?
     
  3. GimmeCake

    GimmeCake Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I don't think she is a cockerel but if you want to take a guess, sure.

    Here are some images of her:

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    I've taken images of my chickens before, but she is the hardest to work with. She needs to learn she can't attack the camera man!
     
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2013
  4. ChickenLegs13

    ChickenLegs13 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Use your finger and peck her back on her head until she squawks and goes away.
    If you hold her with her wings against her body with both hands, like a football that you're going to punt, she can't scratch you or flap & struggle and will calm down.
     
  5. Cindy in PA

    Cindy in PA Overrun With Chickens

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    I've never known hens to go crazy before egg laying. That chicken has a rooster tail feather. Seems weird he wouldn't be more developed by 20 weeks, but I would suspect she is a he.
     
  6. GimmeCake

    GimmeCake Chillin' With My Peeps

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    You sure it's a rooster? I don't think it looks like one. I'm not sure, but I'm hoping it's not a he.
     
  7. 3chickchicks

    3chickchicks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    You see how that tail feather curves downward? The hens don't have that. I've got a dominique hen who is about the same age. Her waddles and comb aren't that developed. I'd post a pic of her tail feathers for you but she's molting and doesn't have any.

    I also read about a condition where a hen's ovary gets damaged or doesn't develop right, testosterone prevails and they turn into a roo (who can't mate obviously).
     
  8. Kelsie2290

    Kelsie2290 True BYC Addict Premium Member

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    I would try to get better pictures of the tail and back of that bird to look for saddle feathers, but I really suspect looking at that picture that you have a slow developing roo there.
     
  9. GimmeCake

    GimmeCake Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Here is her back:

    [​IMG]

    Her she is standing her ground making warning thread (probably about me):


    [​IMG]


    "I'm too good for this. *runs away*":

    [​IMG]
     
  10. StupidBird

    StupidBird Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oh dear, I think she is a he.
     

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