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Do chickens play bite?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by K813ZRA, Jul 10, 2016.

  1. K813ZRA

    K813ZRA Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have a young pullet, almost 5 weeks, that has started doing something new. She grabs my finger with her beak softly and tugs twice. As always she lets me pet her and holder but she will do it again after I put her down. Is it possible that she just wants attention? It doesn't hurt and I don't think that is her intention because I know chickens can latch on...I have a cockerel that latches on to the skin between my thumb and index finger and will not let go, that hurts! (He won't be staying as we have not got along since he was three days old.)

    Anyway, this is just a behavior that I have never seen before. I have another flock that is about 18 weeks old and none of them did that either.

    Thank you.
     
  2. ChickenChaser9

    ChickenChaser9 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Personally I have only seen chickens peck at something non-chicken when they thought it would be food or was shiny or to say give me my space. Often times the birds get to the point where there believe your hand is a magic food dispenser and at a young age they tend to have very little restraint. If the chick in question does not flee from you when you catch her then I would say the behavior is okay. What breed is the flock? That can make a difference in temperament.
     
  3. K813ZRA

    K813ZRA Chillin' With My Peeps

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    They are buff orpingtons.
     
  4. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Sits With Chickens Premium Member

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    Pecking tends to be either exploritory, defensive, or aggressive. So either it's exploring your skin, which should only happen once, or it's telling you not to touch it, or its trying to dominate you.

    Be careful with such behavior because it's a bit more painful when they reach maturity and they can draw blood.
     
  5. K813ZRA

    K813ZRA Chillin' With My Peeps

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    It will only draw blood once. I already have one cockerel that has a blue band on his leg because he is likely to become dinner as he is really aggressive toward me.

    I just found the behavior odd as it hasn't happened until yesterday and it hasn't happened again today when I fed them. As an aside, I have learned that I need to take off my wedding ring when I feed them because they think it is food and flock to it pecking. No wedding ring, no pecking. Anyway, most of the chicks have great personalities, like being held and will eat from my hand.

    Thank you for the explanation. If she just does not like being touched, that is fine. In our other flock we have chickens that like to jump on or lap or eat from our hand but don't like being touched. Others like petting and yet others will tolerate it but you can tell they don't care for it. It sure has been a learning experience as I never knew that chickens could have so many personality types.
     
  6. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Sits With Chickens Premium Member

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    Your birds are young yet, but as they sexually mature they will sometimes exhibit aggressive behaviors, I think they are similar to children where some can be more moody and prone to occasional bad behaviors. I haven't found my chickens to be drawn to shiny objects too much, they do like the color red, but everyone is different, and I don't wear my wedding ring anymore so that's an interesting observation, now my turkeys are another story, they will peck everything shiny or brightly coloured.

    Chickens are very personable and I enjoy watching their individual personalities and ways of doing things. It raises my hackles a bit when people say how dumb animals are especially poultry as I have found them to be very smart and fun to have around.
     
  7. ChickenChaser9

    ChickenChaser9 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I agree. Chickens have a wide range of personalities and temperaments. Many of them are in fact nicer and more amicable than a lot of humans I know.
     
    1 person likes this.
  8. ceceuu

    ceceuu Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have been surprised at how smart they are. Much smarter than people know. The term bird brain should be a compliment. Look at the work with parrots that have proven they can actually use language.
     
  9. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Sits With Chickens Premium Member

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    My parrot understands us and interacts with the appropriate response to words or actions. It is like perpetually having a 5 year old child.
     

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