My mama hen has begun chasing us away!

Advertisement Purina Flock Layer


May 13, 2010
New Hampshire
She was the sweetest RIR hen, my daughter used to pick her up all the time, etc. She hatched 8 adorable chicks and all was well until about week 2, and then she started getting ultra protective of them. Now when we let her out of their efficiency apartment in the dog crate every morning, she rushes at us! My daughter and I are afraid to open the crate now in the mornings! I have the coop extension cord rigged up so that I can get a good distance away and yank the cord to open the crate door. And worst of all, now we can't watch our cute little chicks until we close them all up in the evening (she seems to be in a better mood then) and watch them thru the protection of the crate door. (They are so cute it's unbelievable.) My daughter just went out to fill the food bowl in their crate (they are out free ranging) and I guess she got within charging range, and the hen chased her up onto a rock.

Is this normal? Will we ever get our sweet hen back? And will the new 8 chicks now be afraid of humans? When our hen was a chick, she used to follow us all over the place and think she was one of us. Now we're afraid of her!
One of my three hens is ornery like this. Another of them is only ornery with strangers. The third one is as sweet as she always has been.

I think the ornery hens will calm down once they're done with the job of mothering. I can't swear to it, though, because this is my first time raising chicks with broodies. In the meantime, I'm bribing my hens with treats and trying to avoid doing anything that sets them off.
Oh I have one that has turned into kung fu killer! She goes crazy trying to attack me whenever I walk in the pen. She used to be really sweet and I am hoping after she gets done with her babies that she goes back to her old self.
I could pick up all my other broodies and the babies and they were never mean like her.
I guess in a way it might be a good thing that they are really protective like that but I still hate it when she goes for me. I have had to give her a few thumps and that setteled her down a bit but..... I hate to be mean but I think they need to no that this is not ok.
Yeah, I consider thumping her to restore alpha order once in a while. But then I watch her doing her incredibly difficult job with those 8 little ones crawling all over her with their incessant peeping, and I think - she doesn't need another stress right now.

But when those chicks are 6 weeks old, she's getting put back in her place, if she doesn't figure it out first...

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