My chicken attacked me and I'm offended

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Leahmig44, Jan 15, 2016.

  1. Leahmig44

    Leahmig44 Out Of The Brooder

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    This is my first time posting here, and I'm doing it because I'm really offended and I want to know if I did something to cause this.
    I have 4 pullets who are just coming of age for egg laying. They are red stars/sex links. They are usually the sweetest birds, none have ever showed an ounce of aggression towards me before. This evening I was going to close up the coop, it was already dark. By this time they're usually in there, but tonight it was raining and they were sitting under it instead. They were halfway out and I was picking them up one at a time and putting them in the coop. The last one was just a little further under, and when I reached towards her she grabbed my hand with her beak, jumped up, and stomped down on it with her dang talons! I could understand a slightly startled peck, but I don't know what I did to deserve such a vicious response. I have grabbed them from under there a million times, though never in the dark. Again, none have ever hurt me before, not even a little, so this was 0 to 100. I mean, I know she was probably just startled, but has anyone else seen this stomping behavior before? I am so hurt! (Emotionally)
     
  2. Teila

    Teila Bambrook Bantams Premium Member

    Hi there Leahmig44 and Welcome to BYC [​IMG]

    My first thought when reading your post was ‘Are you sure they are all pullets; no chance you have a rooster in the mix?’

    For various reasons, my gals have given me a good peck or two and I have had a broody draw blood but I have never experienced the stomping. I have no experience with roosters but wonder if the stomping and talons is indicative of rooster behaviour.

    My gals are all friendly and trusting of me but again, I have had some pecks of an evening if, like you, they have not got off to bed and I am trying to help. They do not see so well at dusk or in the dark and her reaction could simply have been a defense reaction to something she could not see very well.
     
  3. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Let It Snow Premium Member

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    Chickens don't see very well in the dark, I'm sure she thought you were a predator and reacted.
     
  4. islafarm

    islafarm Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I've seen pullets do the stomping just as you describe: usually when they are working out pecking order. I'm sure your last girl just felt threatened and couldn't see so well. I'm sure tomorrow they'll be their sweet selves again!

    And [​IMG]
     
  5. austrolover1

    austrolover1 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Never seen the stomping behavior in a hen, just a young rooster and it would peck and twist your hand.[​IMG] And boy, did it hurt!!!
     
  6. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Welcome to BYC!

    I've had a 'close to lay' pullet bite the h3ll out of me and try to 'spur' me.
    It was dominance aggression, and surging hormones, no cock/erel in that coop.
    After the second time, I pinned her down, she submitted and that was that.

    Could have just scared her too to, what with the dark.

    ETA: Don't be offended, it's just being a chicken.
     
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2016
  7. Sutremaine

    Sutremaine Chillin' With My Peeps

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    It's nothing personal, even if they're doing it to you personally.

    Can you block off the area beneath the coop, at least until they start making a habit of going inside the coop? Is there anything about the coop or its access that makes it less attractive in the rain?
     
  8. Leahmig44

    Leahmig44 Out Of The Brooder

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    Thanks everyone, I appreciate knowing I am not the only one who has seen this and that I don't have the antichrist on my hands. She was back to normal in the morning, and actually laid her first egg 2 days later. She must have just been feeling bossy.

    And thanks for the warm welcome!
     
  9. Spartan22

    Spartan22 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Welcome to BYC!

    I'd been peck a lot by my hens if I check under them for eggs, but the most vicious pecks were if I touch them when they are already roosting in the dark, sometimes they jump and attack if I startled them. I occasionally check their crops if they are full when I get home @night from work. On day time they are fine if I touch or pick them up.
     
  10. Folly's place

    Folly's place Chicken Obsessed

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    Welcome! Mary
     

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