I get bitten at least once a week. It hurts. They are sneaky. It's a real bad pinch. I get bruises from them. My hens are devils sometimes. I wear thin leather gloves now when I go in the coop. They usually get me when I forget my gloves and bend over to fill the feeder. It's the only place they get me. I wear rubber boots that go to my knees and being winter still I have a lot of outer clothing on. Just be careful and dress well if they bite.
Chickens are not mean. If you spend time with them everyday they will not bother you. Start spending time with your chickens and you will find they can be friendly,,,just like any other pet. You stop spending time with them and then they dont know who you are.
But we all make the bites out to be worse than they really are. I am not afraid of chicken bites. Yes, they can bruise, and even break the skin sometimes, but it's NOTHING like a mammal bite. It's almost humorous. I just pick them up and cuddle them when they bite. Biters dislike that more than anything!!
Lil' Bit, being half blind, generally takes a finger when she's trying for a treat in my hand.
I pet each one individual and tell them goodnight when they go into roost. I have one hen that will bite HARD if my hand gets anywhere near her face while she's on the roost.
I've also been bitten trying to peek under hens on the nest.
I never could conceive of birds that didn't act like lap dogs like mine do- until I met a friend's birds on Monday.
Her roo looks like a barred collie, it's so big, and when I went to pet him, naturally, like I would mine, he bit my finger- hard! It was like hitting my finger with a hammer!! It's still just a tad sensitive...maybe that's from too much typing....