Hen Attacked Child

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Fergie, Feb 15, 2008.

  1. Fergie

    Fergie Chirping

    Jun 1, 2007
    NW, Washington
    I have four nine month old hens. They are usually very tame and tolerant of my 11 & 7 y.o. daughters holding them, handling them, etc. This morning, after she put a hen down, my 11 y.o. was pecked her real hard in the back of the leg while she was carrying some cracked corn to the yard to scatter. I figured it was just being impatient and wanted the corn now. Well, a few minutes later, I sent her back out there to gather eggs, and the hen approached her and proceeded to start attacking her "rooster style." She was fending it off with her boots, and screaming, so I ran out there and chased it off.

    Now both girls are very scared off the hens. I don't know what to do, other than not have them give the greedy hens any more cracked corn. The only other contributing factor I can think of, is that we were a few hours later in letting them out for their run around time. She might've been feeling grouchy. They have a nice hen house that is approximately 5x8, and a coop area that is about 6x8. They get the run of the yard a couple of times per day for 30 minutes. Any suggestions?
  2. justusnak

    justusnak Flock Mistress

    Feb 28, 2007
    South Eastern Indiana
    Wow, I dont know. Sounds like spring fever setting in already. I have a Langshan roo...normally very tame, and lets me hold him all the time. Lately tho, when I toss treats, he pecks at me. :mad: Grab that grouchy hen, and let your daughters hold her to the ground....dominateing her. Do it a few times a day, and explain to the kids, they are the boss, and this is how you tell a chicken you are boss. Hopefully the henn will let up..and be nice again.
  3. BantyChickMom

    BantyChickMom Songster

    Sep 25, 2007
    Henderson, NC
    Could it possibly be the "dominant hen"?

    Without a rooster, a hen will take on the rooster role and protect the flock if they feel threatened.
  4. Fergie

    Fergie Chirping

    Jun 1, 2007
    NW, Washington
    I will try having the children hold her down. Should she be belly up when we do this or on her side, or what would you suggest? I talked to my daughter about pecking order, and suggested that maybe this hen is at the top of the pecking order trying to dominate her. She's pretty insightful, as she spends more time with the chickens than any of us, and she said this Delawre hen is normally one of the gentler ones, and that there are two who are generally more "pecky" and aggressive. So, it's a bit puzzling.
  5. hypnofrogstevie

    hypnofrogstevie chick magnet

    Jul 12, 2007
    Newton NJ
    I think the side works best. If you do it belly up she wont breath properly
  6. hensdeliverthegoods

    hensdeliverthegoods Songster

    Dec 18, 2007
    Catawba County, NC
    could this hen have a hidden nest somewhere..going broody?
  7. Corey NC

    Corey NC Songster

    Mar 28, 2007
    North Carolina
    I know my deleware was EVIL when she was broody.

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