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Hens pecking at the kids

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by crazymama4, Jul 16, 2011.

  1. crazymama4

    crazymama4 Hatching

    May 9, 2011
    We have 8 chickens that are about 10 weeks old. The kids have held them and fed them nearly every day since we first got them. They have been in an outdoor coop/run for about a month, and now when my girls go into the run, the chickens try to peck at their toes, clothes, etc. The girls are becoming afraid of the chickens they love! What's going on? Is it because they are used to the kids scattering grass and blueberries and such? Are they "demanding" food? How can I stop this behavior? [​IMG]

  2. so lucky

    so lucky Songster

    Jan 31, 2011
    SE Missouri
    I think chickens peck at just about anything that looks edible. Mine peck at dark spots on my skin, lint on my clothes, earrings(!) but it is not agressive. also, they seemed to go through a stage around 10 weeks when they were worse at it. I don't feed them food from my palm anymore because the roo pecks too hard. I can imagine tiny painted toenails and sparkles on clothing would be awfully tempting to a chicken. However, my chicks dont peck at outstretched fingers, etc. like a parrot would.
  3. so lucky

    so lucky Songster

    Jan 31, 2011
    SE Missouri
    I wanted to add that if the pecking seems to be aggression, some folks advise "pecking back" at the chicken, giving him a flick with a finger on his beak.
  4. Ksane

    Ksane Crowing

    Jun 21, 2011
    I've got 14 Silkies that are only 3 wks old and if you stick your hand into their brooder it's a massacre. I've never seen babies animals act that way :-O They'll twist and pull your skin thinking it's food (I'm assuming). Although they've got plenty of food and water always available. I separated then and when there's only 4 or 5 at a time they act completely different and run up to my hand and try to get picked up. It's almost like a frenzied pack mentality when they're all together. Like when dogs gang up together and take down livestock they'd never bother if they were alone. I've had about every other kind of animal but this is my 1st time having more than a couple chickens.
  5. Arielle

    Arielle Crowing

    Feb 19, 2011
    Massachusetts, USA
    They are just being chickens.
  6. Nicole01

    Nicole01 Crowing

    Mar 28, 2011
    This is completely normal! I always make sure I wear my crocs and NOT flip flops in the coop! The chickens are always picking my clothes, especially the clothes with designs. Nail polish in finger nails attracts the girls to peck! I even had my earring pecked out of my ear and my chick ate it. Chickens peck at everything. If they think it's food, they peck even harder. Sometimes they might try and bite it. It's never out of aggression. The kids always treat the girls with respect and they also wear closed toed shoes. The chickens love shiny objects also. I bring in towels with me to put on my lap. This is so I don't get pooped on and the last towel had a funky design, I was crowded with all 8 chickens investigating the towel and they were pecking the towel like crazy.

    The chickens are very curious and use their beak to investigate.
  7. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens

    To investigate something, little kids would have their hands all over whatever it is. Dogs use their noses, tongues, and sometimes a paw to investigate things or people. The only thing a chicken has to investigate something with is their beak. [​IMG] So when they want attention, food, or just to find out what the heck something is, they peck. As was mentioned earlier, if you feel that a particular bird is being overly demanding, you can "peck" her back smartly with your index finger.

  8. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

    May 3, 2009
    New Jersey
    Chickens peck at one another. It's their nature. These chickens regard your children as members of the flock. There are "non violent" means of assuring them that you are dominant. If those don't work, I recommend long pants and sleeves and no flip flops in the run.[​IMG]

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