Chickens are attacking me why?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Sadiew, Jul 23, 2011.

  1. Sadiew

    Sadiew Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My friends are on holiday and I am looking after their chickens for them, they are used to me see me every day as we have our coop in same area, although not right together, anyway now when I go to feed them their treats (they have their big feeder in coop which I top up every day) they act like they are starving and fly up to get the bowls before I can place them in run and peck like crazy, anyway yesterday was really bad they came flying up at me and my right side of face is terribly scratched, even the 2 month old babies were pecking viciously, only one who does not attack is the Roo, why are they doing this? My own never do anything like this, I can sit in my run and they come right up to me, they eat out my hand and can cuddle most of them, I rent a piece of ground and the owner has his own hens who come to my coop as soon as I arrive and stay there until I leave, they also eat out of my hand and none ever attack, what is going on with this lot and what can I do I am getting very afraid of them after attack yesterday and my poor face is a mess, today I closed the coop door while I filled up the feeder and just dropped their treats in through the mess in run as too scared to open the run door. I am worried the run not getting cleaned out, it stays light to late here so they dont go to roost until late and then dark drops quickly and there is no lights in area so can't clean it then, will it be okay for run not to be cleaned for 2 weeks (one to go) or will it be full of germs? I clean my own every day, sorry still relevantly new to chickens only been keeping mine for 5 months.
     
  2. emys

    emys Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 19, 2008
    Idaho
    Seems like they just want to be the first to get the food, but are displaying very bad manners in the process. You need to wear long shirt and pants and maybe garden gloves and hat. Take a broom with you and just sweep them away or bat them away. Bring in food or treats in a closed container only after they back off and you have cleaned or done whatever else it is you need to do. Do not give them anything or even open the containers until they give you your space, and then you distribute the treats widely - scatter it about to distract them and keep them fighting among themselves.

    They have had their routine broken and they are just more prone to panic because of it, so more fighting happens, even with you.

    Do not back down, do not seem hesitant. You must be dominant, but not aggressive.
     
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2011
  3. BrattishTaz

    BrattishTaz Roo Magnet

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    My last batch of chicks were like this. They acted as if they hadn't eaten in days when I brought food. [​IMG] There is nothing quite lke a face full of psycotic chickens, is there? My solution was to throw a bit of food on the ground as a distraction while I filled the dish. I would still get one or two perched on my back but it was a big improvement.

    You should be able to re-enter after they have eaten to clean.
     
  4. Nonny

    Nonny Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mine do this so I'm ready for them by having a small bit of food that I throw to one side of the run as soon as I get the gate open a crack, then when they all dive over there to get it I can calmly walk over to the other side and fill their food up, check for eggs etc.

    Despite being fairly well fed, they always act like starving harpies!
     
  5. ChicKat

    ChicKat Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

    Nonny and BattishTaz really have the right approach. It is the food they are after (more than you---you are just too slooow to produce it for them).

    You didn't say how big the run is, but if it is like yours and you clean yours daily then 2-weeks would be a long time. Can you shut them in the coop for awhile while you do the cleaning?

    It does sound like they are hungry. Sometimes when mine are acting extra hungry, I get suspicious of the feed. Is it really good? Often folks are dismissive of the chickens' behavior, but sometimes there is a real reason behind what they are doing. If you are only topping off the feed, could some of it have gone bad? Maybe refresh their whole feeder.

    Good luck and hang on. Hope you make it through the next week.
     
  6. janinepeters

    janinepeters Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sometimes when mine are acting extra hungry, I get suspicious of the feed. Is it really good? Often folks are dismissive of the chickens' behavior, but sometimes there is a real reason behind what they are doing. If you are only topping off the feed, could some of it have gone bad? Maybe refresh their whole feeder.

    Yes. I think it is a good idea in general to refresh the feeders regularly, rather than always topping off. The feed must get stale and less palatable, eventually.​
     
  7. Sadiew

    Sadiew Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank you all for your replies, I took the rake with me today and opened one door and dropped in some sweetcorn and whilst they were busy eating that I managed to use rake in other side of run to clean it out and then dropped sweetcorn at that end and again while they were busy with that I got other end done, whew.

    Their feeder is same as mine where I top up inside and it falls through to tray at bottom so feed is never more than a day old so do not think it has gone off. I think they get too much treats and maybe I am not giving them what they are used to, on top of their own food I have given them sweetcorn and greens and some chilled watermelon (which was a first for them but they devoured it) and some yoghurt, but they are used to being giving sweetcorn twice a day,. yoghurt plus tuna and tomatoes and greens, I thought that all too much every day maybe they think I have put them on a diet [​IMG] I just think it is good for them to eat the proper feed and not all treats, but I survived today no more injuries [​IMG]
     
  8. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    If chickens go long periods between feedings, they will act like this. (not talking about the amount) I suspect they are not getting fed often enough. This bad behavior is result. Feeding twice a day, having human contact twice or three times a day teaches them not to panic over being fed. This is frenzy behavior and it can be created and it can be put to rest as well.
     
  9. cmom

    cmom Hilltop Farm

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    My Coop
    Quote:I agree I had some pullets that I hatched and raised and I went in to feed them and a couple of them puffed up at me and went after me. I got out quickly and went and got my coop broom and took it in the coop with me. One came at me again and I chased her around with the broom. She kept coming at me and I kept going after her until she submitted. Haven't had any issues since then. The have 40# feeders in their coops that I keep full so they are never out of food.

    [​IMG][​IMG]
     
  10. Sadiew

    Sadiew Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Update.

    Started to feel really ill over weekend since the attack on me leading to fever overnight, went to Drs this morning who ran some blood tests and I have a bacterial blood infection although wounds don't look infected and now dosed with strong antibiotics, so please anyone who gets bitten or scratched badly please get checked out if you start to feel unwell.
     

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