TheLastBungalow

Hatching
Dec 5, 2020
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I have a Buff Brahma named Bobbi who has always been the sweetest and most apt to show me friendly attention. Her breed is a docile breed (they're called the friendly giants!). Her and my other two hens (a speckled sussex named Nancy and a Buff Orpington named Marge) just turned 6months old and started laying. This is my first flock so it has been a very exciting week! Not for sweet Bobbi though. She has suddenly become aggressive. When I come to open the coup in the morning she stalks me and bites me. This morning I brought my plastic chicken poo rake in with me so I could block her from pecking me, it only deters her slightly as she keeps trying to walk around it to get to me.
She then turned to Marge (who's usually the dominant) and started biting her comb repeatedly! It took a few tries to get ahold of her and separate them.

Is she upset that I've been taking her eggs? Is it because the temperature has started getting colder at night? Is it hormones from laying? Is the rake a bad idea? Will she hate me forever now? I separated her from the others and put her back in the coup/run while the others are in the yard. Will this punishment make her more mad?

I hate that I'm so scared to be in the run now that I need protection. I can't turn my back! She used to be my favorite and was the only one who would jump on my lap. I wouldn't even think of getting that close now.

I'd love to regain my relationship and feel safe being in there with them.

Anyone have any advice?
 

oldhenlikesdogs

Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow
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They generally have a hormonal surge at the point of lay which can lead to aggressive dominant behaviors especially if you've handled them a lot. She's trying to dominate you. I would continue with the blocking, and you may need to pin her down at some point.

Usually they settle down after a few weeks.
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
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I would continue with the blocking, and you may need to pin her down at some point.
I wouldn't wait....peck her back now!

Have had this happen several times, mostly with hand fed chicks often as they come of age and get spunky. It's pretty easily curbed with calm and deliberate determination.

I peck them back, on the head or anywhere I can reach, with the tips of thumb and first 2 fingers, as hard and fast as many times as I can before they get away. Well, not hard enough to hurt them, just startle them and let them you mean business. That's what another chicken would do, so they understand that kind of communication.

If that doesn't work after a couple applications, I hold them down to the ground with my hand on their back until they submit....again firmly enough to get the job done but not hurt them....add a few finger pecks and/or tug on the feathers on the back of their neck.

 

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