My hen keeps pecking me! Help!

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by crumptz, Aug 15, 2012.

  1. crumptz

    crumptz Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My RIR hen is 21 weeks old. She is not laying yet. The past two weeks she has become aggresive.. I have tried to hand feed her and pick her up but to no avail. She bit me twice today! I have tried avoiding her but she chases me. I have tried chasing HER but she ran away and bit me later. I picked her up and she was really upset. I really want her eggs but I kinda can't stand her. Advise please.
     
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  2. Stef82

    Stef82 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have never heard of an aggressive RIR hen. Are you sure it's not a rooster?
     
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2012
  3. Firefighter Chick

    Firefighter Chick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    sounds like she needs some one on one time with you. bring her around with you, carry her, bring her inside and offer her treats. Offer treats to the other girls you have and she'll see she's missing out. good luck
     
  4. RunnerChick

    RunnerChick Out Of The Brooder

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    I have no idea what the best solution is. Except that my girls and boys are still young, and as they mature, some of them have tried pecking me occasionally. I think it is mostly curiosity, but sometimes I think it is an attempt to put me in the pecking order. Okay, the boys actually BITE. That I just chalk up to boy behavior, but I still do the same thing to them that I do to the girls. I do one of two things, depending on how full my hands are at the time they peck. I either "peck" back with my finger in their breast (gently, of course) OR I pick them up. If they protest, I hold them and stroke them until they settle down. It has seemed to help. I don't put them back down until they are relatively relaxed. I also still keep an eye out for the repeat offenders. The other thing I do is if I'm busy with something else and the ones that peck are coming up on me, I gently nudge them with my foot. I constantly try to let them know that I'm not in the pecking order. I also lavish lots of treats so they aren't afraid of me. They follow me around like the Pied Piper, so I guess I'm doing okay there.
     
  5. Back on the Farm

    Back on the Farm Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My son was filling the water containers in the run earlier this summer and my slightly aggressive golden comet attacked him - he turned the water hose on her. She left him alone for a few weeks, but I think he'll have to do it again this week - she's getting aggressive again - she's also the first one slated for the stew pot when she stops laying because of her behavior. Don't know what it is with this bird as she's always been slightly aggressive, but she isn't at the top of the pecking order. I'd say breed, but my other golden comet is as sweet as can be. Maybe she knows I'm going to put her in the stew pot one day.

    There was a good article on BYC about dealing with an aggressive rooster - wonder if those steps will work for an aggressive hen...
     
  6. sophiesmith

    sophiesmith Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My little hen used to be scared of me. But now she sleeps in my lap.
     
  7. azygous

    azygous True BYC Addict

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    Chickens communicate and seek information with their beaks. If they peck you, it isn't always a sign of aggression.

    I have a couple of SS one-year old hens who have spunky personalities. They are absolutely not mean or aggressive. However, they both will come up behind me and peck me on the leg to get my attention. It's meant to signal to me that they want to be picked up and cuddled, because they always settle down in quiet bliss when I pause in my task and oblige them.

    On the other hand, I have a GLW two-year old hen who is bossy and nosy, and doesn't trust me, and she will peck me if I touch her or show attention to other hens who are of equal status to her. My rooster occasionally will bite me if he's scared or upset over something and I make a sudden move when he's in this emotional state.

    Yes, chickens are subject to emotions - fear, mistrust, affection, excitement, curiosity, etc. It's what makes them such charming creatures.

    Don't misjudge your hen. She may just be trying to tell you something.
     
  8. sophiesmith

    sophiesmith Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 11, 2012
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    Thank you for the information.
     
  9. crumptz

    crumptz Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm going to start wearing sweats and gloves so I can scoop her up without being intimidated. No kidding, if I'm walking across the yard, all my hens will run out to follow me. This hen is different, she runs out wings outstreached with the purpose of striking me. She Definitely is a hen- no mistake there. My hands have black and blue marks where she hit me twice yesterday while I was trying to hand feed. She first went for the food... and then WHAM!
    I volunteer at a farm and give farm tours to young kids. We feed chickens every day from our hands. I have never seen this behavior except from roos. This is NOT a roo.
     
  10. Stef82

    Stef82 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Glad to hear it's not a roo. I have seen really aggressive RIR roo's not RIR hens. But each chicken is different. I do like what azygouss said. My EE's are the opposite to your RIR hen. They where very scared of me and my husband. Once we moved them to there new coops and was able to pay attention to them each day and gave them treats, they learned to not be afraid. Now each day once they hear me and my daughter coming out to check for eggs, they all come running to us and they eat out of my daughters hands. Our RIR hens do the same thing. Just our EE's are different. One hen is very nosey. She will litterally get in my face when I'm bending over to pick up eggs from the nest boxes because she wants to see what I'm doing.
    Good luck with your hen. I really hope she turns around for you. Maybe she doesn't trust you yet?
     
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2012

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