Hen Behaving Badly

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by chiclet, Nov 24, 2010.

  1. chiclet

    chiclet Out Of The Brooder

    May 10, 2010
    I have a flock of 4 bantam hens, that have been raised together. We originally had 2 roosters with them, but got rid of them because we live in an urban setting. The hens are now 8 months old. A couple months ago, one hen starting some really strange, aggressive behavior towards me! She comes at me, ready to fight, and jumps at me feet and legs. If i pick her up, she bites my hand, and holds on![​IMG] I've tried putting her back in the run when she does this. But she comes out feistier than ever! [​IMG] It seems to be getting worse.
    I've heard of chickens taking on rooster like behavior in the absence of a rooster. Do you think this is what's happening?
    Ever had this happen to your chicks?
  2. damselfish

    damselfish Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 8, 2008
    Southwest Missouri
    Dang, that is strange. It could be that she's taking on the rooster role, or she could just be a mean hen. Some chickens are just not nice!

    I suppose it's totally not possible that she's a roo that was previously low roo on the totem pole and not crowing? I know zip about any kind of bantams, so I'd be no help on determining that.

    Good luck!
  3. pharmchickrnmom

    pharmchickrnmom Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 13, 2010
    Its my understanding that when a hen does that, she is dominating you. When my hens challenge me, I pick them up and wont put them down until they are calm and submissive. You are putting yours down too early I think. Try holding on to her and walking around with her until she becomes calm and submissive. I also chase mine around like a roo would do when they challenge my authority by trying to peck me or if they are bullying. I may look rediculous chasing a chicken around the yard but by the time I am done, they are squatting and their attitude has changed. Since you had some roos who probably maintained law and order, you have to step into the role otherwise she will continue doing it. Last resort is chicken jail for a few days. JMO
  4. Carrie Lynn

    Carrie Lynn Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 30, 2010
    S.E. Michigan
    What kind of Bantams are they?
    Hey, I have a Bantam Leghorn named Chiclet [​IMG]
  5. knjinnm

    knjinnm Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 5, 2010
    Sandia Park, NM
    Quote:I agree, I grab an aggressive bird by the neck and hold them off the ground, don't shake your hand, a couple of times and they learn it's dangerous to attack a human.

    But then there is freezer camp.
  6. allieloveschickens

    allieloveschickens Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 20, 2010
    San Diego
    My head hen started biting me, so I would peck her back with my finger and carry her around the yard- now she is sweet as can be! Good luck!
  7. gootziecat

    gootziecat Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 27, 2007
    Hampshire Co, WV
    First time ever, I had a pullet become aggressive with me. I consider this to be an undesirable disposition trait that could be passed on to offspring. What's the general thoughts on this?
  8. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years. Premium Member

    Aug 26, 2009
    Out to pasture
    Crock pot
  9. LeghornLisa

    LeghornLisa Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 9, 2009
    I say anger management cage!! A little time does wonders! Change that pecking order...
  10. crtrlovr

    crtrlovr Still chillin' with my peeps

    Quote:Any sentient being or being with a personality can have a bad day. I know I'm not always in a good mood, and frankly, there are people I'd LOVE to get aggressive with. ( saw a t-shirt today that said it all: A spazzed-out looking cartoon character holding a baseball bat says, "I wish you were a pinata". !! That being said, is it so horrible for our chickens/ducks/cats/dogs/horses or whatever to express aggression when they want to be left alone, OR when hormones are on the rise? I'd say it all depends on whether she STAYS aggressive, what the circumstances were at the time (is she coming into laying phase? hormones could be at work. Is there a newcomer or any changes in the flock dynamics? Any feed changes? Overcrowding? Molting? pests like lice or mites at work? ANY of these could cause a chicken to act aggressive or "out of sorts" . It also may just be that she's challenging your authority. That doesn't mean it's a genetic trait that would be passed on. IMHO, it's WAY too soon to start thinking "crock pot" or culling. [​IMG]
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2010

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