Killed my hen after she pecked my son's eye - 2nd time

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by amoretsky, Mar 26, 2012.

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  1. amoretsky

    amoretsky New Egg

    Mar 22, 2012
    Hanibelle was named so because she was cannibalizing my friend's chickens. We found her to be a personable, friendly hen. We could pick her up and she'd come when called.

    However, my 3 year old son has twice received welts centimeters from his eyes. Admittedly he's handled her too much, picked her up too much and basically made a playmate of her.

    But when he got this second peck just below his other eye, this time, I got out my machete and just let fly.

    My first time dressing a chicken. Not too bad, but I spoiled some of the internal organs when cleaning the cavity. The liver just was too squished to eat and I mistook the gizzard for the heart. But happy to say the soup was good. Not sure I should have put in the 3 unformed eggs from her cavity, but they tasted OK.

    I had been allowing the eggs to accumulate and we had 5 in the nest. I was hoping she'd start to set, but that's water under the bridge now.

    I'm still not sure a cannibalizing hen is more likely to peck humans or not. But I couldn't take any more chances on my son's eyesight.

    So we're in the market for another hen.

    Allen in Pensacola.
  2. dainerra

    dainerra Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 4, 2011
    I wouldn't get another hen, honestly.
    Pecking is a pretty common thing with chickens (all birds) and putting them up near your face pretty much guarantees that you are going to get pecked in the face.

    First step would be to teach your son the correct way to interact with the birds and other animals. Don't punish the animals for reacting to your son's mistreatment.

    ETA: a hen that is setting is going to be very defensive of her nest.
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2012
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  3. Beekissed

    Beekissed True BYC Addict

    X 1000 on this post. A three year old should never have any creature with a sharp object at the end of its face that near his eyes and that is your responsibility. It is in a bird's nature to peck, it is in a little boy's nature to want to hold and pet the animal, it should be in a parent's nature to protect one from the other.

    I'd have to machete every bird I've ever owned for pecking if I held them up near my face, which is why I don't hold a chicken by my face. [​IMG]
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2012
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  4. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

    May 3, 2009
    New Jersey

    X 2
  5. YES! Dont blame the chicken, its instinct, if they see something shiny and small, such as an eye, they will think its food and try and eat it, teach your son how to handle her, until hes older I would just teach him to pet her, rather then hold her
    1 person likes this.
  6. OwlLover

    OwlLover Alaskan Wanderer

    Aug 25, 2011
    Completely agree, don't blame the hen because your son was tempting her with the shiny object (eye).
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2012
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  7. Stacykins

    Stacykins Overrun With Chickens

    Jan 19, 2011
    Escanaba, MI
    Invest in some protective eye ware, like shooting glasses. You never know, he could accidentally fall and get a stick in the eye, it happens more often then you'd think.

    Eyes, glasses, rings, finger and toenails, watches, etc. are all pecking magnets. Just keep them out of range.
    1 person likes this.

  8. I never get pecked in the eye, course glasses help a lot LOL

    yup, ANYTHING shiny, small foodlike, or anything along those sorts are pecking magnets
  9. OwlLover

    OwlLover Alaskan Wanderer

    Aug 25, 2011
    Yeah. Sticking your face in theirs doesn't help either.
  10. ChicKat

    ChicKat Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

    Hi Allen,

    welcome to the forum!!! Here on BYC, the friendly folks will not hesitate one second to give you our opinions!!!! ;O) LOL

    I have sometimes had that same instinct if one of my close ones (Human or animal) could be injured by an animal.... So I sympathize with your machete moment.

    Hope that you can find a nice hen or two in the Pensacola area. If there are two, they can keep each other company. glad that there was no injury to your little one's eye. I can be a very good learning experience for him to understand (even at that young age), that live animals are a bit different from toys. Hope that your next chickens live with you long and you all will prosper! Glad you joined us here.
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