My Hen Hates Me

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by AdiosCowboy, Jul 20, 2011.

  1. AdiosCowboy

    AdiosCowboy Out Of The Brooder

    Aug 4, 2008
    One day a couple of weeks ago, out of nowhere, one of my hens bit my hand while I was feeding them sunflowers seeds out of it. Since then she has gotten worse, often attacking my ankles, the backs of my knees, my hand when she can reach it, and even my heel as I'm walking out of the chicken run. She attacks me on whatever skin I have exposed (I thought wearing pants would solve the problem, but apparently I need socks and gloves too), both biting and scratching, usually when my back is turned.

    I don't want to get rid of her because I only have two chickens left after an illness last month and she is perfectly civil to the other hen. I'm getting afraid to go into my own chicken run and shouting "bad chicken" (she ignores it) and lightly smacking or kicking her (I got bit on the hand for doing that this morning) are not deterring her. Could this be a medical symptom? Is it something I did? Thank you for any insights you can give.
  2. zumzumfoxy

    zumzumfoxy Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 29, 2011
    Is she going blind? My girl recently got hostile (to a lesser degree) and we found out it was because she was the 'omega' of the flock and couldn't see very well for some reason out of one of her eyes- recent developing eyesight issue. Just a thought! Good luck with her. :<
  3. AdiosCowboy

    AdiosCowboy Out Of The Brooder

    Aug 4, 2008
    She seems to be able to tell when I've got my back to her. Usually she begins her attacks when I'm standing still and she comes around behind me, so it's not like I'm surprising her by coming up on a blind side. Also, she's only 3 y/o. Would a chicken go blind that young? From what?
  4. dcs02d

    dcs02d Out Of The Brooder

    Feb 15, 2010
    Kill her. Eat her. Buy a new chicken.
  5. dandydoodle

    dandydoodle Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 21, 2010
    What was wrong with your chickens, how many did you lose? Sorry.

  6. janinepeters

    janinepeters Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 9, 2009
    This attacking when your back is turned sounds just like aggressive rooster behavior to me, which (although there have been endless debates about this, too), they do because they see you as a threat to dominance. It's not something you did wrong, it is just an aggressive, dominant chicken telling you she wants to be dominant over you, too. I have never heard of a hen behaving this aggressively, but if some hens can crow, then I guess some can get this aggressive.

    If her behavior does not change, and you are afraid to be near her, I am afraid I would have to agree with dcs02d's comment to do her in. Given that there would be only 1 remaining chicken, I would probably kill them both and start anew with baby chicks next spring.
  7. Nicole01

    Nicole01 Overrun With Chickens

    Mar 28, 2011
    Pick her up and carry her for a few days. My RIR attacked me 3 times. I picked her up 1/2 hour at a time for several days to show her I was boss. I was never mean and I sat her on my lap to pet her too. She got the message and her attitude has changed. I just figured she was challenging me as a hen. I don't think it would work with every hen, but it worked with mine.
  8. mandelyn

    mandelyn Overrun With Chickens

    Aug 30, 2009
    Mt Repose, OH
    My Coop
    I grab and hold mine too, when they want to peck at me, or another hen excessively while close to me. They behave quite nicely when they're near me. The bossy one shows her status in other ways, like coming over to the sitting area and sitting in the chair next to me, like the thinks it's some kind of thrown. But she won't peck at me, and she'll squat if I move towards her.

    If you're bent down with your back to her.... I wonder if they take that as the human squatting? [​IMG] Submissive chickens squat for the higher up ones, a hen will just pause and drop her wings and squat down, hoping that submissive act will cause the other to stop being aggressive.

    They have surprisingly intricate social structures, and in the absence of a rooster, there's usually a hen that will step up as leader. That leader can get mean, same as a rooster that wants to flog a human.
  9. ChickieBooBoo

    ChickieBooBoo Cold Canadian Chick

    Dec 2, 2009
    Quote:I agreed, if one of my birds started attacking me they would either die from the kick they would get, or loosing their heads for dinner.
  10. sanfordmom

    sanfordmom Out Of The Brooder

    Jan 30, 2011
    When I got rid of my rooster, my dominent hen did become more aggressive towards me. A little time and my own show of dominence (certainly not kicking!) turned her around. Try to beat her to the punch instead of having to react to her. [​IMG]

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