Hen very aggressive towards me?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by DaniellaDear, Nov 25, 2016.

  1. DaniellaDear

    DaniellaDear New Egg

    Jul 20, 2016
    So recently my five month old hen has been very aggressive towards me, pecking and scratching when I get near her! I read advice that hens maybe get this way to establish pecking order and to stop it, you should very gently flick the hen to imitate pecking back. But she's just gotten worst! I'm afraid if I continue to fight back she'll just get more violent. Help??
  2. Vermont Poultry

    Vermont Poultry Out Of The Brooder

    Sep 22, 2016
    Northern Vermont
    Odd behavior. It is true she may be trying to establish pecking order. Never had this issue and in no way I am an expert. But I would either "fight back" without hurting the hen, or quarantine it for a bit to bring down its energy.
  3. EggSighted4Life

    EggSighted4Life Chicken Obsessed

    Hi, welcome to BYC! [​IMG]

    I always peck them back straight on their head. On top of that for my boys, I chase them a little. For chickens fear equals respect, not real fear.

    Are you sure it's a hen? They also get nasty when they go broody. [​IMG]
  4. EggSighted4Life

    EggSighted4Life Chicken Obsessed

    I also make a point to go in at roost time after they settle down and pet each one of them. If anyone pecks, and they usually don't, it's a good chance to peck them back. After the peck back, when they are on the roost I insist on petting them gently for a very short period of time. Ultimately not all will be super friendly or sit on your lap, they are chickens not puppies. But they will show respect.

    Of course I realize this is their main form of communication to let you know they don't like what you are doing. And I never try to peck to hard but yes sometimes it will be several in a row if that's what it takes.
  5. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    Peck her back, chase her a few feet for a few more pecks.....that's what they do to a subordinate.
    Use thumb and 2 finger tips, be calm but fast and firm...get her on the head or wherever you can hit her.

    Don't be 'gentle', but don't break any bones or draw blood....lol....
    it can be hard to understand how much pressure/force it takes to keep a bird under control unless you've handled them a lot.
    She'll squawk and scream but that's just alarm not necessarily pain from injury.

    If a couple of those interactions don't do the trick,
    use one hand on her back to push her to the ground,
    again fast and firm, hold her there until she submits.
    Might take two hands, I often grab the tail close to the body to keep them from getting away,
    again just firmly enough to keep them under control, it won't hurt them.
    Use other hand to peck and yank the feathers on the back of her neck.
    Once she submits for a few seconds let her go.

    At 5 months your pullet (not a hen until one year old) is probably getting a surge of hormones,
    this can make them more aggressive. Are you positive it's not a male?
    1 person likes this.
  6. EggSighted4Life

    EggSighted4Life Chicken Obsessed

    Nice detailed description. [​IMG]

    That is essentially what I do, except never had to push them down yet.
  7. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

    May 3, 2009
    New Jersey
    Submission as suggested by aart is generally effective. 'Fighting back' general exacerbates the situation.
  8. EggSighted4Life

    EggSighted4Life Chicken Obsessed

    Ah,... I see the difference now that you say that! [​IMG]
  9. Folly's place

    Folly's place True BYC Addict

    Sep 13, 2011
    southern Michigan
    It's also helpful to stop hand feeding if you've been doing that. I call the birds and throw treats on the ground instead. I also don't let any of them peck at me. Visit, yes, touch, no. Mary

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