Help! My sweet loveable pullet has turned on me...pecks me HARD! OUCH

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by mrsbos, Jul 14, 2011.

  1. mrsbos

    mrsbos Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The smallest of my three 11 month old EEs, "Chickie", has always been my most loveable, easy going, jumps in your lap to cuddle kind of girl. About a month ago, I was outside wearing sandals with pink painted toenails when she lunged and pecked at my toes. OUCH! Understandable, as she probably thought my toes were berries or something. I would push her away and try to hide my toes in my shoes. After a few times of this, she would get mad at me when I pushed her away and bite me on the hand or arm HARD. I figured I'd just have to start wearing shoes that hid my toes. But now when I go out there, with clogs that completely cover my whole foot, she'll still stalk my feet or legs, lunge at them and peck hard. If I see her stalking me and try to move my feet away, she lunges at my legs and bites my legs (different from just pecking as she pinches off my skin and pulls). It really hurts, so now I can't even wear shorts without being nervous around her. I swear, the way she acts right before she does this, is like a snake getting ready to strike. I know right before she's about to strike (I see this look in her eye), but I'm not fast enough to jump out of the way! Again, if I see her about to strike and attempt to push her away, she bites at my hand/or arm and it's totally different than how she pecks when she's going after a freckle.

    What happened to my sweet girl? Just as an FYI, she happens to be lowest on the pecking order and sometimes get bullied by the head pullet, Fluffy. Also, Chickie now is the only one who doesn't "squat" in submission when I pet her back. Is she taking her frustrations out on me? Do I need to re-establish the fact that I'm at the ultimate top of the pecking order and discipline her (can you discipline a chicken?) when she pecks me like that? She looks perfectly healthy, lays an egg-a-day, and still enjoys being held.

    My other two pullets have NEVER pecked at me in such a malicious way. As nervous as it makes me sometimes to be around Chickie lately, I can't imagine ever having a rooster!
     
  2. sadies chicks

    sadies chicks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Not sure, but my Firecracker, a red sex link, does the same thing and it HURTS!! I had a welt under my eye for a week she hit me so hard. She just needed to be a half inch higher and she would have gotten my eye. I am not sure where it is coming from [​IMG] I try to cut her off at the pass when I see her getting ready and if she does hit me she gets a good shove or a pinch. If she hurts me then she gets the same treatment. I have also heard of other people putting them in to submission by carrying them around under their arm, but that may be more for roosters? I really don't know and I just have to stay on my guard [​IMG]
     
  3. Jerseycoop

    Jerseycoop Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Interesting post. I posted here some weeks back about my light brahma being a pecker as well. The advice I've received was to tap her lightly on the head. Well it worked wonders really. She became my lap chicken very soon after the head tapping. Now that I've moved the girls out to coop/run she has returned to pecking but much harder! Going after my sandals, ring just bare skin. She still squats but her face is more red in color than my other girls... Good luck would love to hear how to handle this too.
     
  4. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens

    LOL - that's my buff orp. I tell my husband that she must think I'm a pinata, and that if she pecks me hard enough, cracked corn will come spilling out. And she, too, is my most lovable chicken - enjoys her lap time AND is the lowest bird (lots of coincidences here). I will say though that I don't think my girl is grabbing - she just pecks really hard, and a LOT, like she's demanding attention.
    If you feel she's actually testing you, take your index finger (or your index/middle finger together) and "peck" her back smartly and tell her "No!" I do "peck" mine when they do something I don't like.
     
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2011
  5. pjknust

    pjknust Chillin' With My Peeps

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    When my first chicks, 3 yr ago, were old enough to put out in the hen house they 'tried their boots on with me". I boxed their jaws and from then on they KNEW I was TOP HEN and all was fine. They have never been ugly since.
    I have 7 new lil Buff Orp pullets now that are 7 wk old, so Im sure I'll go thru it again when they go to the hen house, and I'll box 'em just like the last ones.
    They have to know who is the boss.

    pam in TX
     
  6. Jerseycoop

    Jerseycoop Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:[​IMG] [​IMG] I have this imagine in this corner we have.....
     
  7. sadies chicks

    sadies chicks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:I do that too and I also blow in her face, she hates that. Firecracker, unlike others here is one of the top girls in the club. So not sure what HER deal is. Maybe she is just a meanie. But a darned cute one!
     
  8. jtbrown

    jtbrown Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I haven't had an issue with a pullet, but my red rooster is a stink. He grabbed my feet, ankles, forearms when I changed the water. Left a welt on my forearm that bruised! I read on here to gently (and I did do it gently), lay him on his side, hold his neck down and peck his head, initially he squawked like I was killing him. I am assuring you, I did not hurt him, but pecked him on the head. He closed his eyes, submitted and then when I let him go, he got up and walked away. I did it twice. He is a gem around me now. I don't know if this works with a hen or not. But it is really not harmful and I am very gentle with him. But the alternative is to cull the little sucker and I'm not ready for that yet. It's been a month since he challenged me. I wouldn't hesitate to do it again and be more persistant if it continues. [​IMG]
     
  9. sadies chicks

    sadies chicks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:Hmmm, I will give that a try...
     
  10. Happy Chooks

    Happy Chooks Moderator Staff Member

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    My Coop
    Tap her on her head with your finger until she backs down.
     

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