Dominant hen question (or when good hens go bad)

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by harveyhorses, Oct 1, 2011.

  1. harveyhorses

    harveyhorses Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have 5 BO girls all the same age, bought at the same time raised together etc. Matilda has always been boss hen, I have made it clear I AM ALPHA HEN. [​IMG]
    Anyway today they got to free range all day, and I was taking a break from splitting wood. I sat down and a couple of the girls wandered over, Sasha hopped on my leg, and decided it would do for a roost, Sonya was just hanging out, Tilly (Matilda) was watching, I held my hand out to give her a scratch or a pat, and she went after me, pecked my thumb and drew blood. What a kerfluffle. She tried to run away, but did not succeed. I pinned her down, beak to the ground, then carried her around like a loaf of bread for a few minutes. Went back to work and they all did their chicken thing for a couple of hours more.I put them up, checked for eggs, (two) told them they were good girls, gave Tilly a little rub under her wings (she used to really like that) turned and was scratching another one (don't remember which) and she (Tilly) FLEW at me and pecked my arm, and it looked like she was trying to spur me. I snatched her up and flipped her over, repeated the earlier process, and put her back in with the others. I have a bruise the size of a quarter on the top of my arm and where her lower beak hit there is a blood blister (don't know how she managed that)

    Now what? Will she keep acting this way? Are there methods that work better than my seat of the pants reaction> They are all 17 months, and she is by far the biggest. I think my feelings are hurt worse than anything, but I will NOT keep a critter that is going to attack me.
    Help?[​IMG]
     
  2. triplepurpose

    triplepurpose Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I've had similar experiences with ROOSTERS, and I basically did just what you did. I even had standoffs a couple of times with this one rooster, where I advanced on him, refused to give ground until he back off, but all to no avail. If anything it just made him meaner. I eventually in all cases I have resolved it by culling. I don't know about hens though.... Hopefully you can win her over, and won't have to get rid of her. I would think that it would be easier to fix this problem with a hen--roosters have it in their genes to act this way--with hens, it's usually just opportunistic. Like the little velociraptors they are... [​IMG] Maybe others can help more... Good luck!
     
  3. harveyhorses

    harveyhorses Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks. I would much rather her be nice again, but I know I can rehome her if it keeps up. It's silly but I am really sad, Last week they were all so sweet. Maybe she is mad because they had to stay up all last week ?
     
  4. triplepurpose

    triplepurpose Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 13, 2008
    Sometimes it just happens--I can't explain it either... I had a young rooster who as an adolescent was so tame and friendly you could reach down and pick him up, and carry him around like a lap chicken. I hatched him myself and handraised him. He would come up to me when I was working in the pen to see what I was doing and sometimes he even tried to perch on me. Then he grew up and one day just began attacking me...
     
  5. silkielover5

    silkielover5 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    if you can get a rooster get one, not all roosters while be mean but they will put the hens in place. haha maybe its the name my neighber had a hen named matilda meanest thing on earth we gave her one of our roosters and now she is like a new hen
     
  6. harveyhorses

    harveyhorses Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Don't want a roo. Don't want any baby chicks. Really really do not want a roo.
    They get free range a couple of hours a day, too many threats to leave them out without supervision. hawks hawks and more hawks, coons, skunks, neighbors dogs.
    She has been better, I have taken them out of the coop one at a time and had a little quality time with each of them each morning. She has not even looked twice at me in a 'threatening' way. She has never been the sweetest of my hens (that award goes to Sasha) but has never been mean. more non cuddly. So we will see how she behaves.
     
  7. Ole rooster

    Ole rooster Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Wow, bring blood? What kind of assist do they have on their beaks? Mine peck me all the time but I just don't see any of um brusing me or bringing blood. That's something.[​IMG]
     

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