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I'm intimidated by my hens..

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by cristina, May 6, 2011.

  1. cristina

    cristina Chirping

    Apr 29, 2011
    Lloyd Harbor
    As you can see by my status, I'm new at this. I'm happy to say that I've gone from pit-in-my-stomach anxious when I first got them (a week ago) to (almost) totally comfortable having them. It feels great. In addition to other specific questions I"ll post in other topic areas, I regret to admit that I am a little intimidated by my lovely hens. They are great, but I fear being pecked and that they sense my slight discomfort when going in their coop. How can I get over this? I want to love them and want them to love me. Can hens love people? I only have experience with dogs. Any people knowledgeable on chicken behavior (everybody here!), please chime in...

  2. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

    Nov 9, 2007
    SW Arkansas
    Yeah, you will get pecked. The good news is it doesn't hurt much at all. Trying to think of something to compare it to...not as bad as a bee sting or a needle from the doctor. It won't happen that often. Relax and enjoy your girls.

  3. TinyLittleFarm

    TinyLittleFarm Songster

    Mar 8, 2010
    The hens won't hurt you.

    I have a roo that has gotten really mean in the last few months. I'm terrified to go into the run. My daughter is begging for a stay of execution. I'm not sure how merciful I"m feeling--I hate being afraid of my chickens?
  4. cristina

    cristina Chirping

    Apr 29, 2011
    Lloyd Harbor
    I hate it too! (being afraid). Of course, compared to you (and your roo), I'm a sissy. When I go out each day, I talk to them like I'm so confident and then when I go in with my back facing them, all I am doing is thinking about what they're gonna do! Peck me, bite me, hate me, etc. Its pathetic. I watch my 3 year old fearless son with envy. I'm not joking.
    I'm hoping time will make this better....
  5. TinyLittleFarm

    TinyLittleFarm Songster

    Mar 8, 2010
    Is there room in your run for a chair? Seriously. Get a chair and sit down and bring your 3 year old. If they're not used to sitting on your lap or whatever they will probably stay away. Since you won't be moving around, you won't frighten them and you can just spend some quiet quality time getting used to each other.

    When I'm really feeling like I'm ready remove Jack (roo) from the face of this earth, I have my husband grab him and I carry him around for a while. Jack just gives me the stink eye the whole time, but it reminds both of us who's boss. [​IMG]
  6. jimz1

    jimz1 Songster

    Jun 6, 2010
    Coleman, Wi
    How old are they?
    They won't hurt you.And they won't attack you from behind. Go in with your 3 year old and talk to them or bring them treats.
  7. wsdareme

    wsdareme Songster

    Mar 9, 2010
    Yelm, WA
    I get pecked if I try to feed them treats by hand. Some are more aggressive than others, but they aren't pecking because they mean to hurt you -- they're just trying to get the food.

    Walk into their run with a cup full of BOSS (black oiled sunflower seeds) every day. They will run to you when they see you coming, and just broadcast it about and watch them scurry to eat it. It will become their daily treat and they'll get excited when they see you.

    Sitting in the run in a lawn chair is another great idea. They'll inspect you, and if they peck at your shoes or pants it's not going to hurt -- they're being curious. None of my hens are cuddly, as much as I'd like them to be, but they love "the food lady".

    You will have so much fun and get so many laughs over their antics. Sitting and watching is one of the most relaxing things my DH and I do after work. There is no reason to worry about your hens hurting you. A rooster might, although I've made sure that mine understands I'm the alpha roo and I have NO problems with him. He avoids me and will not approach me to eat out of my hand like his girls do.

    Just spend some quality time with your ladies and you'll get comfortable around them in no time!

  8. froggiesheins

    froggiesheins Crowing

    Oct 14, 2010
    Jurupa Valley, CA
    Hi cristina, [​IMG]. Just so ya know, I have been bitten once, by a gamey-mutt hen that had a day old chick. It was like getting pinched by pliers.

    How old are your girls and how long have you had them?????

    Your girls really have no reason to bite you. You are the TREAT HUMAN! They will love ya! Wear long pants and shirt when being around them, if that makes you feel more comfortable at the beginning. Can you sit in their run??? Talk to them in a soothing voice, call them by name, make cluck sounds, bring FOOD and they will think you are a god. Make it FUN to be by you. Hens, generally speaking are much more friendly than roosters.
    Give yourslf a pep talk before you go out to see them, THINK >>> "I am bigger than you and I can squash you like a bug". [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
  9. ChicksterJo

    ChicksterJo Songster

    Feb 19, 2011
    Grounded on Earth
    I get pecked on my clothes and sandals. They love scratching at my socks and going on my shoulder too. Don't worry about your girls. Show them you're queen of the coop and do what others have suggested: sit in with them, although I suggest standing because they might like jumping on your shoulders like mine do. Bring treats and cluck like them...I sound crazy to my family members when I go into the run/coop because I'm talking and clucking at my girls.[​IMG]
  10. gryeyes

    gryeyes Covered in Pet Hair & Feathers

    I have one demanding hen in the flock who pecks a bit harder than necessary when eating out of my hands. I peck her back. (I do this with chicks, too, in the brooder, when necessary.) I hold my forefinger and middle finger together and thunk that hen on the side of her neck, or on the back of her head when she pecks too hard. She gives me SUCH a look! But then she stops the hard pecking.

    The hardest peck from a hen will not even leave a bruise. It's more annoying than anything - not really painful.

    I spend quite a bit of time sitting with my flock. The chickens mill around, some some up to me and tell me chickeny stories, some hop up onto the bench with me and peck/tug inquisitively at my shirt. Any bit of lint, or a button, or a seam is something for them to investigate. They don't have hands to touch stuff - just those beaks. They're curious animals.

    I'm not even intimidated by any of my roosters. If one of 'em gets pushy, I pick him up and carry him around for a while.

    My Cayuga drake gives me duck hickies on the backs of my hands or my forearms - and those can hurt. Those are nibbles and nips with duck bills. I grab his bill and hold it closed, saying "Stop that!" And he does.

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