I feed my chickens, so they think I'm food?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by fiddleblue, Dec 13, 2009.

  1. fiddleblue

    fiddleblue Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 19, 2009
    Every day when I first let my chickens out of their house in the morning into the chicken run, I put out their food, and I try to supplement their diet with grasses and tender greens as often as possible. THey have learned to run right up when they see or hear me, expecting goodies. If I go into their run and sit down or kneel down, they immediately jump on me and peck at me. They peck at my socks, at my shoes, at my pants, at my buttons, they peck at my shirt, at my back, at my hair. When they sit on my lap they peck at my hand, at dots on my arm, if I open my mouth they peck at my teeth as if they think the teeth are rows of corn kernels. Sometimes they peck at my glasses. Anyone know the meaning of all this pecking? Is it exploration, kind of like a dog sniffing around? Is it a demonstration of affection? Is it curiosity? Is it chicken reasoning that because I bring them food, I might be food too?
  2. Imp

    Imp All things share the same breath- Chief Seattle

    They might think your food, but more likely they are telling you treats or not you are lower in the pecking order.

    Imp- BTW I'd keep them away from your face. Eyeballs are shiny juicy and taste good. [​IMG]
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2009
  3. ChickieBooBoo

    ChickieBooBoo Cold Canadian Chick

    Dec 2, 2009
    It really could be any reason, they really like shiny things. Like metal buttons or things like that. It might be cause they like you and are trying to show affection.
  4. LAMchop

    LAMchop Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 24, 2009
    SW VA
    Chickens are very "visual". They will peck at anything that looks remotely edible, trying to discover new treats.
    You sound like a good chicken parent! [​IMG]
  5. RocketDad

    RocketDad Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 25, 2008
    Near US 287
    My hens peck at the shiny waist buttons on my carharts jacket, and at the paint splatters on my shoes.

    I have one hen that attacks me, and sometimes the kids. I think it started when she realized that I'm not a rooster and got all "frustrated" with me. She also seems to be lower on the pecking order, and might be trying to dominate me. The other hens squat when I walk up to them, and I'll either pet them or pick them up and give them some attention. But not Shadow - she turns around and faces me, waiting for an opportunity to draw blood.

    Oddly, she's mellowed out and lets me pet her since they've been "cooped up" against the cold. I expect her to resume her evil ways as they get more outdoor time again in the next weeks.
  6. flower

    flower Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 16, 2009
    SW US Desert
    My girls do the same to me. The darker ones have been handled more and seem to like being held as they cluck softly. The more colorful two do not seem to like being handled. One day I cuddled one hen for a bit put her down and another started to peck her and they had a short tussle of sorts. For sure when they see me they are interested to see what I have for them and would rather have greens and people food than layer pellets.
  7. fiddleblue

    fiddleblue Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 19, 2009
    Thank you for sharing all your experiences with being hen-pecked! It is quite curious how some hens are...I have no experience of the menacing threatening hen out to draw blood...I have two Brahmas who are the first to jump up on my lap when I come into the coop, very friendly. I have a Buff Orp and a Rhode Island Red who are moderately tolerant of being petted, though they prefer if they initiate it by jumping up on me. The four Silver Laced Wyandottes are more stand-offish and move away from me reaching to pick them up, though again if they initiate by jumping up on me they seem to prefer it. I have been cautious about chickens near my face since one pecked near my eye. Hen Pecking limbs and torso is much preferred...

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