Help! Hen attacked my son


7 Years
Apr 21, 2012
New Hampshire
My 24 week old Buff Orp flew up and scratched my son's face today. (Just missing his eye by a hair). He lets them out of their coop every day for some free time in the afternoon. He was just playing by himself nearby when one walked up to him and flew at his face.

Do hens ever behave like this? Or does this mean that Buttercup is a rooster? Until now, Buttercup has been very friendly to us. She does have a slightly larger comb than than my other 2 buffs. No crowing or spurs.

Not sure what do to! If it's a rooster, I will have to get rid of him because they aren't allowed where I live. If it is a hen, how to correct this kind of behavior?

Any advice is much appreciated.
It'd be easier to give you a clear answer with pictures, but if they're young chickens and "Buttercup" is maturing that much faster and showing signs of aggression, then she may very well be a he. Hens CAN be aggressive, though, especially in the absence of an actual rooster. A hen may feel she has to fill the role of flock protector and may even start trying to crow, but I haven't experienced that personally yet.

Interestingly enough, I also had a "Buttercup" that turned out to be a boy. Renamed him Elvis Poultry.
Buff Orp are usually very docile especially the hens. Ours is at the bottom of the pecking order and my kids usually only get hit in the face by a wing as the girls try to flee from their affections. Pictures might help to determine if your pullet is a roo.

Here are some photos. Normally, they are all very docile so this was a big surprise. As you can see, Buttercup has only a slightly larger comb than the others (they seem to be catching up to her in growth)
Looks like a hen to me, but I've never known a hen to be that aggresive especially without a reason. If "she" is young then it's very possibly "she" could turn out to be a "he"
Does your son ever pass out treats? I had to stop that and retrain the girls the treats are on the ground because they were flying up to get treats. With me it's only waiste high but grand daughter being 5 it was face high for her. Now all treats get thrown on the ground.
the pictures look like a hen. a photo that shows the side so we can check for rooster saddle feathers would be helpful. I still wonder if she is acting mean because she is just starting to lay. I read about another Buff Orp who was nipping and charging her people when she started laying who later calmed down.
I would have your son wear eye protection and not let him feed them treats. They learn quickly who has food and who doesn' Forthe hens pt. Also supervise him around the hens until you figure out what is going on or things settle down. They do seem to calm down when they start laying.

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