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My chickens keep pecking at my eyes--I'm bloody!

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Trashcraft, Oct 24, 2015.

  1. Trashcraft

    Trashcraft In the Brooder

    Sep 16, 2015
    Hello, I'm new to BYC and I have 3 (11 week) golden wyandottes and 3 silver cuckoo marans. I like to sit on the stoop and feed them from my hands, but even when they were tiny they'd go for my eyes! They still do this. I have to be very careful doing yardwork--if I bend down or squat down, they go straight for my eyes and have grabbed hold my lids and drew blood a couple times now. I am getting good and closing my eyes tightly if one is nearby. How do I stop this without frightening them-- I enjoy it when they sit nicely on my legs or lap or shoulder. I don't want to lose my eyesight!
    Thanks, B
    rbnk1 likes this.

  2. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Chicken tender Premium Member

    Jul 16, 2015
    central Wisconsin
    Unfortunately that comes with too tame poultry, they might lose interest in doing it as they get older. That's one of the reasons I don't handle mine so much, after they grow up I befriend them by feeding goodies, but they don't come into my space like that.
  3. 123RedBeard

    123RedBeard Songster

    Oct 20, 2014
    Back hand them!

    Or wear safety goggles!
  4. Happy Chooks

    Happy Chooks Moderator Staff Member

    Jul 9, 2009
    Northern CA
    My Coop
    At 11 weeks, you can take your index finger and tap them on their head, like a peck, to correct them. Be cautious not to get your face too close to them. Eyeballs are shiny, and chickens peck to investigate things they are curious about. They don't mean to hurt you.
    Birdinhand likes this.
  5. Trashcraft

    Trashcraft In the Brooder

    Sep 16, 2015
    I think I will start wearing my glasses outside!
    rbnk1 likes this.
  6. Trashcraft

    Trashcraft In the Brooder

    Sep 16, 2015
    I'll try it!
  7. rbnk1

    rbnk1 Songster

    I am so glad to see Im not the only one this happens to!!
    Im going to be wearing my cheap readers when I go spend time with the girls and see if that helps...Ive worked too hard to get them friendly to push them away for being curious about my eyes. lol

  8. I was pecked once in the eye. Newbie fault of mine based on how I positioned myself to them. But I did do an immediate, corrective swatting tap at her head with a stern tone. They are social, so they will pick up on your momma hen cues. When. They go for things of interest on me, which they can't help, I do a shoving motion style shoo while using the same tone (stern and lower octave) and phrase "don't peck at me". They seem to get it. And I do hold them frequently too. I've also utilised the gentle pin when they get pushy, or skittish even. Same thing, stern voice, then follow with a calming voice until they calm down. I can see their skin color change as I sooth them and they chill out. Meanwhile,I suggest safety glasses. Some can pack a pecking punch!
    rbnk1 likes this.
  9. Folly's place

    Folly's place Free Ranging

    Sep 13, 2011
    southern Michigan
    There's friendliness, and there's dangerous behavior, and respect for your space. This is not a good way to interact with your birds, and they can take out your eyeballs, and a visitor's, and it's really a bad thing. Grabbing your eyelids?!? WOW!
    For your safety, and everyone else's, and for your bird's sake, fix this situation ASAP. Would you let a child tear your eyelids? More than once? Your pullets don't know any better, but they can learn. I can guarantee that they aren't tearing each other's eyes!! They get pecked and put down for that, and they learn to be more polite. They can reform, as long as you insist on it. Mary
  10. rbnk1

    rbnk1 Songster

    Agreed! Again, so glad to know its not just me!!
    I've worked so hard to get my girls to be friendly, that now thay have no boundaries and climb all over me when i sit in their yard to visit and pack my face, teeth, eyes.
    Well starting tomorrow, glasses, and no more shoulder sitting next to my face...the lap is good enough :)

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