My Sussex hates my husband :(

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by witczakchicks, Mar 4, 2017.

  1. witczakchicks

    witczakchicks Chirping

    Apr 26, 2012
    So, one of our 4 hens is a Speckled Sussex named Nina. Nina is my 12 year old son's hen and he can do anything with her. He pets her and carries her around. I am also able to do just about anything with Nina. My husband on the otherhand, she attacks! He can't think of anything he could have done to upset her aside from moving her off of the nest last fall when she was broody and he wanted to collect eggs. She literally attacks his shoes and pant legs when he enters the coop enclosure. He often takes special treats to the hens and he is always kind to them. He can scoop up the others and pet them but for some reason Nina seems to hate him. What can we do to change her behavior?

  2. witczakchicks

    witczakchicks Chirping

    Apr 26, 2012
    Last summer she was fine with him...[​IMG]
  3. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Chicken tender Premium Member

    Jul 16, 2015
    central Wisconsin
    He should take something like a broom or plastic rake in the coop and push her back and away, and block her advancements. If she persists I would gently push her to the ground and hold her for a few seconds, repeat as necessary. She is acting dominant and your husband need to dominate her to gain her respect.
  4. 21hens-incharge

    21hens-incharge Crossing the Road Premium Member

    Mar 9, 2014
    Northern Colorado
    I agree with oldhen. Some of mine act up and her suggestions work well with mine.
  5. azygous

    azygous Free Ranging

    Dec 11, 2009
    Colorado Rockies
    I have Speckled Sussex, and I can testify they are a very opinionated breed with very strong personalities.

    Changing this hen's mind about your husband depends on how much he wishes it. How far is he willing to go to get on her good side? If he really wants this, he needs to gain her trust.

    As assertive and bossy and stubborn as they are, a Speckled Sussex's trust can be bought. The way he can do it is by getting down on her level with a carton of meal worms. It should be one on one or he'll be mobbed by the other chickens. You can assist him by escorting the hen into an enclosure where he will be quietly waiting on his knees with the offering. He shouldn't stand or move, but wait calmly for her to assess the situation and discover the treat he is holding. He should be patient and allow her to come to him.

    He should offer her one worm at a time from his hand, but he should not attempt to touch or handle her. After she accepts half a dozen to ten worms from him, he should calmly close the carton, put it in his pocket, and very slowly get up and leave. You can then return the hen to the flock.

    This little exercise should be repeated each day for several days. After around the fourth day, the hen should be getting with the program and looking forward to their time together. Your husband can then reach out and stroke the hen on her breast as she takes the worms from his other hand. She will probably accept this.

    After a few more days of offering worms and stroking her breast, he will probably be able to bring her toward him and hold her. By this time, she should trust him enough not to make any objections to being held.

    It's all a matter of re-establishing trust. Sussex may be a lot of things, but they aren't unreasonable.
  6. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    I'd have him go 'head hen' on her.
    Peck her back, fast and firm, with tips of fingers on head or anywhere else he can reach....follow her a few steps and continue pecking.
    That how chickens maintain pecking order.
    If finger pecking doesn't work, hand on back push her to the ground, give a few finger pecks, and hold there until she submits.

    Have had to do this with several birds, did not preclude hand feeding or handling in the future.
    Aggression actually started with hand feeding, she got greedy and aggressive until she was 'put in her place'

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