Chickens LET hen peck them - What Up?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by TheSpiceGirls, Aug 18, 2013.

  1. TheSpiceGirls

    TheSpiceGirls Crowing

    Oct 6, 2010
    Bay Area, CA
    A little background. Last year, my one year old Buff Orpington went broody and I let her sit on plastic eggs for 21 days and then picked up 3 day-old Andalusian's and she raised them. The other Buff Orpington took on an Auntie type role and helped raise them. And then my alpha hen is a Jersey Giant.

    So today I have the 6 hens and everyone for the most part gets along. There's some squabbling over treats, but that's to be expected. They live in a HUGE predator proof run and I let them out for about an hour each afternoon into the garden.

    The BO who played Auntie to the 3 babies, seems to hypnotize them and then pecks them. It's funny to watch. They walk right up to her and freeze. She stares into their eyes and then they bow down and she pecks them on the head. And they don't move or walk away.

    It's like they are saying, thank you mama, may I have another? This will go on for 3 or 4 pecks and then it's over and they walk away.

    My husband is convinced that the BO is hypnotizing the other hens so she can peck at them. But I say that's ridiculous, right?. Has anyone ever seen anything like this?

    She's not drawing blood or pulling feathers and they could SOOOOO easily walk away from her pecking so I'm not going to worry about it. I'm just really curious what is going on there.
  2. centrarchid

    centrarchid Free Ranging

    Sep 19, 2009
    Holts Summit, Missouri
    I am seeing exactly same thing with a hen with chicks roosting on front porch. She has stopped clucking and resumed laying. The interaction is breaking the bond the chicks have on the hen so they will not interfere with the next batch. Older chicks will sometimes kill younger chicks if hen does not keep them away. See link to following thread and you should be able to find some reference to what you are seeing.
  3. Veer67

    Veer67 Songster

    Yes, my Silkie does that with my new chicks ( I call it a stare down) she stares at them then pecks them either on the head or neck feathers. Now that the chicks are almost bigger than my silkie bantam, I think that she feels her superiority is being threatened and she pecks at them for no reason now. [​IMG] Any little movement near Mellow ( my silkie) drives her nuts and she gives them a disciplinary peck on the back, shoulder, and head.

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