Opinions needed, please

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by horsewishr, Oct 17, 2007.

  1. horsewishr

    horsewishr Songster

    Jul 7, 2007
    West Michigan
    My BO hen growls and pecks at me when she's in the nest. She's very friendly other times.

    On the one hand, I understand that she's only doing what comes naturally--protecting her "offspring."

    But OTOH, I want her to see me as THE authority figure in her life, and I want her to understand that I am the boss.

    So, should I make a point of invading her space when she's in the nest. Or should I just let her be. I'm torn.

  2. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude

    I have one or two who dont like to be bothered on the nest. They'll lightly peck my hand if I try to check for an egg. Sometimes, I make a point of holding them down by placing one had on their back and reaching under them to check for the egg. I doubt you'll break them of it. Mine are perfectly sweet at all other times. One is my never-gone-broody Buff Orp, Ginger.
  3. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD

    I say just let her be. It's only natural and they won't even put up with roosters... and will even fight hawks trying to eat them. They are in the mindset that they would die for their flock. I mess with my broody just for fun. :p Unlike dogs or other mammals, they won't care what "rank" you are when it comes to keeping their offspring safe. It's a trance.
  4. Cuban Longtails

    Cuban Longtails Flock Mistress

    Sep 20, 2007
    Northeast Texas
    I would leave her be. Hens don't even like roosters around for the most part when they are brooding or laying, much less other hens.
  5. schmoo

    schmoo Songster

    May 7, 2007
    West MI.
    The worst fight my chickens ever had with each other was when one tried to "join" another one in a nest. She was NOT having it.
    I agree, let her be. I don't think shes testing your authority, as long as that is the only time shes aggressive.
  6. ozark hen

    ozark hen Living My Dream

    Apr 4, 2007
    Mansfield, MO
    MY hens do that but only one sounds like a "banshee" she is the best brooder I have right now and I ignore her and allow her little "fits", she is an extremely good mama hen protecting her eggs and chicks. It is should not be a power struggle, she is doing a very good job so let her be. Just my opinion.
  7. Heidi

    Heidi Songster

    Mar 18, 2007
    Northwest Michigan
    I have a BO "Butterball" that does this terrible chicken scream when I put my hand under her to check for eggs. She did this for about 2 months. Now when I go in and check for eggs she still does that scream, but stands up and lets me grab the eggs quick then lays back down giving me the evil eye.
    Maybe eventually your BO would do the same thing - or not.
  8. Freebie

    Freebie Songster

    Feb 4, 2007
    Bloomingdale, MI
    Get the eggs, some people use gloves if they have a good bite. My BO was pretty mellow and would just let out a little screach. She just really hated it if I made her get up. I finally just let her set but collected her eggs. (she had quit laying but would steal the others eggs I am sure)
  9. newchickowner

    newchickowner Songster

    Aug 19, 2007
    I have two very broody hens right now, I don't want any more chicks before spring so I collect eggs everyday. One is pretty nasty about biting, but everytime I reach in, I keep my hand above her head and then gently grab her neck while I reach under her with my other hand and check for eggs. I did this for about a week, but now I'm able to just reach in for eggs as long as I keep my hand at her backside. The other broody hen growls a little, but I can do whatever I want. Which is awesome!!! I take full advantage of this and pet her and talk to her!
  10. chickbea

    chickbea Songster

    Jan 18, 2007
    I think she is obeying the most basic instinct of all female animals - this is my home, and these are my babies. This instinct wins out over almost every other, almost all the time. I'd just do what you need to do as quickly as possible.

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