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My chickens peck me- why?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by carolinakwren, May 24, 2016.

  1. carolinakwren

    carolinakwren Out Of The Brooder

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    I have 5 hens, 2 are 7 months old (a Barred Rock and Rhode Island Red) and I raised by hand, picking them up a lot and holding them in my lap. When I am in the yard now with my kids and sitting down, both of the younger hens will come up and peck me lightly, but continuously on the back. It doesn't matter what clothes I am wearing. They don't peck my kids- who both spend a lot of time with them, hugging on them. Sometimes if I am crouched over, they jump up on my back. It seems they want attention? I sometimes then pick them up and hold them. When I put them back down they will start again. It's annoying. How can I get them to stop this behavior?
     
    1 person likes this.
  2. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Sits With Chickens Premium Member

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    They are probably trying to dominate you because they view you as part of the flock, I would either chase them away, or push them down on the ground into a squat to dominate them.
     
  3. ejcrist

    ejcrist Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Gosh, are you sure you're not talking about my gals? Mine do the exact same thing. As a matter of fact one of them flies up on my shoulder every time I walk into the run. Then she hops up on my head and starts pecking and scratching at my bald spot. I might have hair if it weren't for her. I don't know why they do it but I just chalk it up as normal chicken behavior. Here's the gal in question....[​IMG]

    And this is what always ends up happening....
    [​IMG]
     
    1 person likes this.
  4. CluckerCottage

    CluckerCottage Chillin' With My Peeps

    My little girls do the same thing-- and so do my big girls.
    They are picking at tiny specks that they consider food or they feel like they are cleaning you.
    My husband get his jeans pecked daily-- they are looking for cornmeal stuck on him because he feeds the pigs first.
    They are not painful pecks at all. My little girls clean the white cat hair off of me and my daughter! And yes, we are not strangers to chicken poop on our clothes.
    I don't really mind.
     
    1 person likes this.
  5. ejcrist

    ejcrist Chillin' With My Peeps

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    That's good to hear. I think getting "fertilized" goes with the territory too. Glad to hear I'm not alone though. I think it's their way of saying they love us. I have a Beagle that pees on my boots with me in them at times, and I inherited my son's Australian Shepherd that my son had out of wedlock, and he hacks up in my lap a lot. We have over an acre yard but the animals always seem to narrow their focus to right wherever I'm at during the most inopportune times I tell ya. But yeah, my gals never peck me hard at all. It's always a very gentle peckin'.
     
    1 person likes this.
  6. Lisa Wood

    Lisa Wood Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I prefer the pecking to the peeing on your feet.
    Lisa
     
  7. ejcrist

    ejcrist Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Amen Sister!
     
  8. carolinakwren

    carolinakwren Out Of The Brooder

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    Yes- I've been wondering this because my daughters actually spend a lot of time pushing them to the ground while they hug on them. I'll start pushing them down too. Chasing them away hasn't worked so far. Thanks!
     
  9. TheTwoRoos

    TheTwoRoos Chillin' With My Peeps

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    This is the them Accepting you.They are not trying to dominate you (That would be more intense.)My hens do this picking little things off me (Like they do to each other.)
     
  10. KrazyKatLady

    KrazyKatLady Out Of The Brooder

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    I have one that pecks at me and will jump on my back if I am crouched over. She will go after my toes if I am in flops. She is definitely top hen in the flock. She is very bossy and demanding when I have treats. She won't let my younger birds, who have just reached that age where they are becoming confident enough to approach me, get close.

    Is there any way I can tone down this behavior? She has also started chasing my car part way down the driveway and that worries me a bit for her safety.
     

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