How to Get My Dominant Hen to Submit to Me?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Dawnclucks22, Jun 17, 2017.

  1. Dawnclucks22

    Dawnclucks22 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Hey BYC :D I have five chickens and all of them will to the "submissive squat" and are very gentle, but I have one hen who insists that she is higher on the pecking order than I am. No matter how hard I try to tame her, if she feels that either she or the flock are threatened, her hackle feathers will puff up and she'll full on charge at you and peck insistently. She's only drawn blood a couple of times, but this behavior is both annoying and worrisome for me (especially when I have done integration). I've heard of the "chicken jail" method, but I'm worried about her being locked in by herself for such a long time, or the method where you carefully hold them down until they relax (if someone has experience with this and can explain that, that would be awesome :)). Also, slaughter/selling is not an option. Our girls are for eggs and pets, not food! Thanks everyone :p
  2. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    How old is this bird.... and how long has this be going on??

    Have had this happen several times, mostly with hand fed chicks often as they come of age and get spunky. It's pretty easily curbed with calm and deliberate determination.

    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
  3. Dawnclucks22

    Dawnclucks22 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Thank you for your suggestions! My bird is 3 years old and has been doing this (I'm guessing) since she started laying.

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