Hens are acting like real peckers!

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by MyISAbrownhens, Mar 26, 2018.

  1. MyISAbrownhens

    MyISAbrownhens Songster

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    In the past month or two, my chickens have been really pecky. They don’t seem really aggressive but they keep pecking my muck boots and legs and it hurts! My largest hen whose the top of the pecking order has also started acting strange when I hold her and almost comes at me like she wants to fight when I put her down. I have no idea why they are acting this way as they are a rather docile breed and it has gotten to the point of where it’s actully a bit nerve racking to go in the coop with them or allow my children with them. I will admit, I haven’t been able to give them quite as much attention this winter due to the snow and cold but I still don’t see how it could cause them to act this way! They were so calm as pullets! Any idea on why their doing this and how to stop it?
     
    lclark likes this.
  2. Foster's Freehold

    Foster's Freehold Songster

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    Hormones, bad weather, being "cooped up". Your hens have spring fever and they are cranky with it. Are they getting out much? Put new things in the run and coop to entertain them some. Add greens to their diet. Good luck!
     
  3. HenHouse4Life

    HenHouse4Life GrandmaOnDuty

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    My hens get 'spring fever '... they act like silly birds for a couple weeks each spring. I give my flock toys, extra things to climb and roost on, to prevent boredom. I will also move things around for them so it's a little different. Maybe this will work for you also :idunno:frow
     
    Foster's Freehold likes this.
  4. chickens really

    chickens really Crazy Call Duck Momma

    Buy a higher protein feed. Retrain them to respect your space. If you feed snacks daily it depletes the balance of the nutrition in the feed.
    Best wishes.
     
    Folly's place likes this.
  5. MyISAbrownhens

    MyISAbrownhens Songster

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    :) Thanks for your replies, I will make sure they are getting out more and give them more boredom busters, and I will add more greens to their diet, hopefully this will help!
     
  6. Folly's place

    Folly's place Free Ranging

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    More greens will dilute their diet even more; what are you feeding? An 18% to 20% protein diet is a better choice usually, and limiting extras. As CR said, the birds need to respect your space. Don't tolerate this rude behavior!
    Beekissed has a very good article about managing roosters, and it may help you reform your overly pushy birds.
    Mary
     
    chickens really likes this.
  7. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

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    I'd be pecking them back.....re-establishing my role as 'head hen'.
    Not many chickens like to be held...it takes frequent and consistent handling to make them comfortable with it.
     
  8. MyISAbrownhens

    MyISAbrownhens Songster

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    I feed them Purina Layer Crumbles, and I’ll be sure to read that article. I also make sure I don’t give them too many boredom busters that use food.
     
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2018
  9. MyISAbrownhens

    MyISAbrownhens Songster

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    I guess I’m just not sure how to show them I’m the boss again, even when I push them out of the way to have them give me space, they think I’m trying to start a fight with them or something!
     
  10. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

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    I peck them back, on the head or anywhere I can reach, with the tips of thumb and first 2 fingers, as hard and fast as many times as I can before they get away. Well, not hard enough to hurt them, just startle them and let them you mean business. That's what another chicken would do, so they understand that kind of communication.


    If that doesn't work after a couple applications, I hold them down to the ground with my hand on their back until they submit....again firmly enough to get the job done but not hurt them....add a few finger pecks and/or tug on the feathers on the back of their neck.
     
    CajunFeatherz likes this.

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