Chickens charging and pecking us

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by jilliandbk, Aug 27, 2010.

  1. jilliandbk

    jilliandbk Hatching

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    We have 3 hens. One has recently hatched 6 little chicks. She and the chicks are separated from the others at the end of our run. Recently (it started when the broody was still sitting on her eggs) the other 2 hens have started charging us and pecking at any exposed skin. They are sneaky too. They wait until our backs are turned. Could this be a reaction to the other chicken being separated? Can chickens be jealous? I know they are extremely curious now that the chicks have hatched. They are over at the divider fence often calling loudly. Is there anything we can do to stop their aggressive behavior? One pecked my 5 year old on the leg today and drew blood and left a bruise.
     

  2. Olive Hill

    Olive Hill Crowing

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    You need to make it blatantly clear to them that pecking is not tolerated. As soon as they act aggressively you need to make noise -- yell "NO!" -- advance towards them, and make aggressive physical contact with them that says "You want to challenge me? Lets go! I am the boss!" For some chickens this is as simple as pecking them back with an rigid, extended index finger. For others that are a bit more persistent you will need to chase them away, grab their tail, shoo them firmly with your hand or foot, etc. Do as little as possible, but as much as is needed. And above all remember, when a chicken gets out of line with an alpha chicken in the flock the alpha isn't going to take it easy on the other chicken because she loves them too much to get after them or doesn't want to "hurt" them. She's going to scold them physically and vocally and she's going to do so with gusto, think of how they make one another squack when they get into it. If they don't get the message with small corrections don't be afraid to correct them very firmly, make them squack yourself. [​IMG]
     
  3. Qi Chicken

    Qi Chicken Songster

    Jul 3, 2009
    Wow, I didn't know that hens would act like that! Sounds like they are taking the responsibility of foster mom seriously. I think they are protecting the new chicks and see you guys as a threat. I would look up all the rooster taming stuff. I think fundamentally though that intimidating an animal in the long run will not work as it will be ........intimidated.......and therefore frightened and therefore aggressive. I would try to show them that you are benevolent but in charge. Bring treats but don't tolerate pecking. I would try the peck on the head method with your finger first. I think that has more of a cause and effect meaning to them. Good luck!
     
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2010
  4. tarheelmama7914

    tarheelmama7914 Chirping

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    ours has been pecking at my hubby, 2 yr old, and me. they stopped this past week when it comes to us adults showing them its not acceptable, and my 2 yr old is scared of them now...
     
  5. Qi Chicken

    Qi Chicken Songster

    Jul 3, 2009
    We just had to rehome a rooster that was terrorizing the whole family. I can't believe how different it is without him. The kids can get off the porch now! The other roo is so much calmer too. Slowly get your two year old back with them with you at her side. Sprinkle some boss on the ground, they might peck it out of her hand and scare her. Hold a chicken and let her pet it. She'll get back at it! Especially as she gets big enough to cart them around. My daughter puts them in time-out all the time. Very funny as they don't stay there and it has to be redone. She is 6 though. the four year old carries only his favorites. Maybe we give her(the kid, not the chicken!) too many time outs...........[​IMG]
     
  6. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

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    Who's dominant, you or them? Until they know that you are in charge they will take advantage of the situation. Think tiny feathered velociraptors. Their brains are slightly beyond reptilian.
     
  7. jilliandbk

    jilliandbk Hatching

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    Nov 8, 2009
    OK - I get it. Let them know "who's boss". I can handle that. I am just curious where this behavior came from. It has just started recently and seems so out of character for them. Any ideas?
     

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