My chicken jumped on my head!

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by liz_s, May 16, 2010.

  1. liz_s

    liz_s Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 16, 2010
    Washington State
    Hi there!

    My name's Liz, and I'm the proud new owner of 3 Ameraucana hens (8 weeks old). I just got them yesterday morning, and they are the first chickens I have ever owned. I'm writing because I know little about bird behavior, and am a little concerned about something that just happened. I have been hanging out in their coop, sitting on the grass, and they are curious and chirp at me, etc. However, they started making concerned noises (drawn-out cheeps) and one of them jumped on my head! Here are the other conditions: it's about dusk, I have given them a few raw sunflower seeds and some watermelon, this specific chicken is a variety that can apparently be a little skittish. I think that's it. Does it sound like aggression? Am I being placed at the low end of their pecking order? Was I crowding them? Please help- I'm so confused, and worried that this may be bad for our 'relationships'. Thanks for any help, and I am excited to be here!

    Liz
     
  2. ThePamperedPullet

    ThePamperedPullet Chillin' With My Peeps

    Welcome to BYC and to the wacky world of chickens.

    Perfectly normal at least for our chickens. They jump on our backs, shoulders and even heads. Chickens enjoy being up as high as possible. We have a new Russian Orloff cockeral sitting here with us right now that just learned he has wings and he keeps jumping from the floor to my knee and then back down. "New trick". Last night he slept on top of my computer. On a towel of course. He is 8 weeks old and in quarantine and finding out what it means to be spoiled.
     
  3. MiniBeesKnees

    MiniBeesKnees Chillin' With My Peeps

    First of all... [​IMG]

    They are still babies. I have five about eight weeks old born 3/17. You could have been a handy place to try to roost or a high place to get away from some imagined predator or noise or figment of their imagination. They could have been looking for more treats. Very few are ever going to be as tame as a lap cat. The only time mine aren't skittish and I can pet them is when I catch them after they've gone to roost. That time of day...they were probably looking for a high place to go to sleep and...there you were!
     
  4. schmije

    schmije Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 25, 2008
    Peoria, IL
    [​IMG] from Illinois

    It doesn't sound like aggression or anything bad at all to me. I think it's a good sign that they're comfortable enough with you to jump on you like that. Most chickens won't do that.

    I once opened my coop, and one of my girls jumped off the top roost, flew straight at me, jumped off the top of my head, and flew into the yard.
     
  5. liz_s

    liz_s Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 16, 2010
    Washington State
    You guys are great! Thank you- my mind is more at ease. [​IMG]

    However, when I went out to check on them, one of them somehow chipped the end of her beak, and was bleeding a little. I talked to a woman I know who said that since it's dark, the beak should have time to stop bleeding before they're up and about tomorrow, but to check on them as early as possible to make sure the other two aren't attacking her. She was over by herself, and the other two were close together. I am so out of my element! Does waiting seem like a good idea? Has anyone else had a bird chip her beak? Thanks again for all your help!
     
  6. MiniBeesKnees

    MiniBeesKnees Chillin' With My Peeps

    Not that I've noticed. I know some commercial growers cut them off short on purpose...or maybe just the top or the bottom part, I forget. I remember being appalled. They do that to help prevent them hurting one another in cramped, crowded quarters.

    I got this from eHow (googled how to trim a chicken's beak) as step five.

    If you cut too far and the beak starts to bleed, gather some Styptic Powder, Blood Stop, cayenne pepper, or flour in your fingers and place it against the bleeding end. You will need to apply pressure here for several minutes, you don't want to put a bleeding bird back in a pen with other birds, who might attack it when they see blood (chickens can be like that!)
     
  7. liz_s

    liz_s Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 16, 2010
    Washington State
    Hi everyone!

    An update: the birds made it through the night and are doing great. The little one that broke the tip of her beak is the sweetest of all of them, poor thing. I wonder if her beak will grow back/ more? Since they're still young, I don't know if their beaks grow anymore. I believe she's eating okay, though. You all were so helpful and gave me such great advice and insight- I really appreciate it!
     
  8. kateseidel

    kateseidel Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 9, 2010
    Liz - I've raised my little flock of 17 from day old chicks. They spend LOTS of time in my lap, perched on my legs, my shoulder, my head (if I will let them and I do NOT!!). One day I had bent over in the run and one jumped up to the middle of my back. I love spending time with them and petting them, even knowing they only love me for the feed!! The only issue I've had is that when I wear clips in my hair they think they are edible and we have had a few sessions of negative conditioning to stop the head pecking!
     
  9. feathersnuggles

    feathersnuggles Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 4, 2009
    Seattle
    The beak will grow back, eventually. The exposed part will be painful for her, for about a week. It will be sensitive, too. So you could help her out by feeding her some soft food, at least once a day for a few days, if you like. It will be easier for her to pick it up food with her painful beak, if the food is soft.

    My hen has almost recovered the full use of her beak since a portion broke off. It still hasn't fully grown back though. She still favors it, and she doesn't peck the ground or the feeder with as much vigor as before. But she can feed herself, now. Here's my post about it:

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=338393
     
  10. liz_s

    liz_s Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 16, 2010
    Washington State
    Thanks for the responses about my little girls beak! She seems to be doing just fine, but it is good to know that it will grow back. I am definitely relieved about the reason for my other girl jumping on my head. They will be going in their coop much sooner now. I appreciate everyones feedback!
     

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