Naughty Chickens?!

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by annav410, Aug 21, 2013.

  1. annav410

    annav410 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 7, 2013
    Broomfield, Colorado
    My chickens were hand raised from chicks and treated as pets. Generally speaking, they all will allow me to handle them but some would rather I not touch them. Some of my friendly girls will sit on my lap and I enjoy spending time with them in their run but wanted to get some advice on some new behavior. Some of my “friendly” chickens have started coming up to me and biting/pecking me very hard on my legs. Enough to cause bruising. [​IMG] I have tried to shoo them away but they are very persistent. Any suggestions on how to correct this behavior? I don’t believe it is aggressive but it is annoying and hurts! Help a newbie who loves her chickens but doesn’t want to have to always wear heavy duty jeans to avoid bruises. [​IMG]

    Would love some thoughts or suggestions. Or is just normal behavior from chickens?

    Thanks,
    Anna

    PS All girls, no roosters.
     
  2. chickenbythesea

    chickenbythesea Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 15, 2011
    Nova Scotia
    they'll peck at freckles, spots or any other mark on your legs - mine love going after my painted toe nails. When I'm sitting out with the girls I keep a 2ft stick with me to just push the more "picky" ones off of me. They don't like the stick and so they generally move off when they see it. I put it as a barrier, I don't hit them or anything else. like I said, usually the movement is enough to distract them from pecking.
     
  3. iheartnh

    iheartnh Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 11, 2013
    Derry, NH
    We have some 'pecker-heads' too [​IMG] . Mine seem to do it for attention, as it escalates if I am giving one hen more attention that the others. And if I've got one on my lap, I am almost guaranteed an assault from the 3 top birds.
     
  4. annav410

    annav410 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 7, 2013
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    That is exactly what seems to be happening. Do you have any suggestions to prevent the assault? [​IMG]
     
  5. gryeyes

    gryeyes Covered in Pet Hair & Feathers

    I actually "peck" them back, saying "No!" at the same time.

    Human "pecks" are accomplished by holding your index and middle finger together and quickly thunking the offender on the head or side/back of the neck near the head. I have the highest status "in" my flock, over the roosters, too.

    The pushy girls learn they shouldn't peck me. Not hard, anyway; they will lightly peck or pluck at my clothing to get my attention.

    It even works when an over-zealous chicken pecks my hand during hand-feeding treats - they learn to take treats nicely. Even my dominant rooster learned he can't grab a bit of palm flesh in his beak to make me give treats "faster."
     
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  6. iheartnh

    iheartnh Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 11, 2013
    Derry, NH
    Like gryeyes, I peck them back. If one persists (and my head hen usually does), I pick her up and inspect them - under the wings, in particular, which they all seem to HATE. This stops the pecking for a few days, but eventually we do the dance again.
     
  7. annav410

    annav410 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 7, 2013
    Broomfield, Colorado
    Thanks for the responses! I will try the "peck" back and hope things will get better! Love all the help on this site.
     

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