One of my hens keeps attacking me!

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by dpaulson, Feb 6, 2015.

  1. dpaulson

    dpaulson New Egg

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    Nov 14, 2014
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    I am VERY new to backyard chickens, but I have 8 hens, 4 Golden Comets and 4 Buff Orbingtons...they just started laying eggs last week and are all brown, so I'm not sure who is laying and who is not.

    However, I have noticed more aggressive behavior from my Golden Comets since they start laying and I just went out to check their water and one of the girls went after my legs and actually bit my foot! I'm getting more and more anxious about them, and I don't want to, but I don't understand the behavior. They used to be so sweet!

    Any advice? Thank you!

    Dawn
     
  2. jaredthefox

    jaredthefox Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Is she always aggressive? Are all of the girls doing it or just the one? It could be possible that she has gone broody and your close to her best but don't know it
     
  3. dpaulson

    dpaulson New Egg

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    Nov 14, 2014
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    All of my comets look the same, but I have had one who is always "bossy", but they just started laying eggs last week, so I was kind of wondering if maybe they were upset with me for removing their eggs....makes me so sad....
     
  4. jaredthefox

    jaredthefox Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The only time I have had a chicken mad at me for gathering eggs was when she was broody. When they are broody they want to protect their eggs. I bet you that you have 1 hen that has gone broody and sees you as athreat
     
  5. Ol Grey Mare

    Ol Grey Mare One egg shy of a full carton. ..... Premium Member

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    Welcome to BYC!
    I would suggest you take your phone and video your next trip out (or have someone do it for you) so you can show us just what the bird is doing. I find it helpful to see the bird in action as what one person envisions in reading "attack" and what may actually be happening can vary quite a bit. Being able to see both your actions and hers will be helpful.
     
  6. dpaulson

    dpaulson New Egg

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    Nov 14, 2014
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    Thank you! I will have my husband film me the next time I go to check water and such. I went out and lunch and gave them a bowl of oatmeal (in the yard) and they were all fine. No one came near me. Have a feeling its because I'm getting "too close" to the coop!
     
  7. dpaulson

    dpaulson New Egg

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    Nov 14, 2014
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    I was thinking the same thing too...makes me scared...do you think this because gets "better"?
     
  8. Hayduke27

    Hayduke27 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    There is a chance that you were not attacked. As chickens get used to you being the provider of food, they often aggressively run up to you. This is just begging for food, not charging. As to the bite on the foot, I have known a number of chickens who were foot-obsessed, and thought that a bare foot was something to eat. I currently have a chicken that thinks the same with my fingers, and she occasionally bites me, not out of meanness but just out of curiosity. I have a hunch this may be what happened. As they get older, the competition for treats gets more intense too, sometimes leading to unintentional biting when they are trying to be the first to get food from you.

    I can say that my alpha hen (named Queen B) does bite me in an aggressive manner at times. She tries to show her dominance over me, as she is at the top of the pecking order and then some (even the rooster is no match for her)! She will come over to me and bite my calves as hard as she can, hold on, and twist and tear, like she's trying to get meat off of me. I shoo her away, and occasionally have given her the boot. She doesn't just aggressively run up and attack, however. These are sneaky attacks from behind, and she usually bites and then ducks away in case I retaliate. If the chicken who bit you is your alpha hen, she may have been trying to do the same, but it's hard to say without seeing it myself.
     
  9. howfunkyisurchicken

    howfunkyisurchicken Overrun With Chickens

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    This is just my opinion, so take it for what its worth. No matter what this behavior actually is, its unacceptable. My chickens and turkeys all "beg for food" and none of them bite me while doing it. They'll follow me around annoyingly and try to hop or stick their heads in the bucket, but they keep their body parts to themselves.

    If I were you, when you go into the run or coop, I'd walk around stomping my feet at the comets, at least until you can figure out who the aggressive one is. If you do figure it out, make a habit of running her off, give her a little chase away from you and the feeder just like they do to each other. If that doesn't work, you might want to consider finding her a new home, and make her new owners aware of her behavior, so she doesn't taint your whole chicken keeping experience (if none of the above worked and she lived at my house, she'd be turned into a nice pot of chicken-n-dumplings).

    Good luck.
     
    1 person likes this.
  10. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    In an all hen flock,(are you positive you have all hens?) sometimes the head hen takes on the role a rooster would to 'protect' the flock.
    Agrees not being afraid of her and 'walking thru' her to establish your dominance is a good idea.

    When they just start laying they can act kind of crazy, might just be hormone surge that will calm in time.....
    ........can take up to a month or so for them to get used to laying.
     

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