Our hen attacked my two young kids

NatJ

Crowing
Mar 20, 2017
3,997
6,633
386
USA
I don't think your hen will connect your hitting her with her attacking your child.... chickens are not dogs or horses etc. They are not that easily trained... As far as discipline I don't think they connect their bad behaviors with it.
I have watched hens with baby chicks. When another hen gets too close (3 feet seems to be be about the limit), momma hen chases them away (out to at least 10 feet). Same if another hen pecks a chick. But it seems to happen multiple times every day.

So if you just want to act like momma hen, you should stay near your "chicks" (children), and chase the hen away every time she comes close--and be prepared to do it repeatedly, every day.

It looks to me like chickens test or reinforce the pecking order in small ways many times every day, so I think it will be an ongoing problem unless you rehome the hen (to the farm or the stewpot.) Or keep her and the children separated by a fence at all times, unless you are standing right there watching to drive off the hen if she gets close.
 

paloozaparty

Chirping
Apr 28, 2020
141
143
73
Kosher salt


Freshly ground black pepper


1 large bunch fresh thyme, plus 20 sprigs


1 lemon, halved


1 head garlic, cut in half crosswise


2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) butter, melted


1 large yellow onion, thickly sliced


4 carrots cut into 2-inch chunks


1 bulb of fennel, tops removed, and cut into wedges


Olive oil

I thought you were sharing your recipe to rid of vampires haha
 

doughouse

Chirping
Apr 14, 2020
70
155
63
Boston, MA
Update: Thanks again for all of the thoughtful replies. As of this weekend she has officially been rehomed two hours away with my uncle's flock. After spending a few hours in a crate where she and the flock could see each other, she integrated into a flock of Buff Orpingtons and Speckled Sussexes. I don't know if these breeds are particularly laid back or what, but the ruthless pecking pile-on I was worried about never came to pass. There was definitely pecking, but nothing too bad (it seemed to me that the rooster would step in and protect her if the pecking got to be too much, which surprised me a bit), and by the morning when we checked in on her she was roosting right in the middle of the flock. We're heartbroken, but glad she's somewhere where we can visit her often.

PXL_20201122_210822024.jpg
 

Mixed flock enthusiast

Free Ranging
Premium Feather Member
May 21, 2018
2,989
7,723
526
Stillwater, OK
Update: Thanks again for all of the thoughtful replies. As of this weekend she has officially been rehomed two hours away with my uncle's flock. After spending a few hours in a crate where she and the flock could see each other, she integrated into a flock of Buff Orpingtons and Speckled Sussexes. I don't know if these breeds are particularly laid back or what, but the ruthless pecking pile-on I was worried about never came to pass. There was definitely pecking, but nothing too bad (it seemed to me that the rooster would step in and protect her if the pecking got to be too much, which surprised me a bit), and by the morning when we checked in on her she was roosting right in the middle of the flock. We're heartbroken, but glad she's somewhere where we can visit her often.

View attachment 2422463
That is a laid back flock to accept her so quickly! She’ll probably be queen of the flock in no time. Congratulations on your success!
 

LMN1966

Chirping
Jan 19, 2020
58
91
53
Ontario, Canada
We had that same issue. We place her in a cage for a day. Make sure she has fresh water and feed.
Hence the name"jail bird"! Did the trick. She's a bully. You are in control not them. Oh I just read your post, well she'll be queen of the flock soon enough!
 

Julie dingman evans

In the Brooder
May 26, 2020
8
8
11
Ummm.... any second opinions out there? 😬
One of our more social chickens (the leader of the flock) would do this exact same thing to me, I was so surprised that i just stood there. Eventually she Grew out of it, but the lowest in the pecking order will occasionally attack my feet if I get too close to her. I carry a stick when I first get out side, put it down by my feet, and when she does that I swiftly tap her with the stick as a warning. I think you did the right thing... keep trying it😁👍🏼
 

Sulky Bantam

Songster
Nov 3, 2020
653
1,310
140
Ireland
Update: Thanks again for all of the thoughtful replies. As of this weekend she has officially been rehomed two hours away with my uncle's flock. After spending a few hours in a crate where she and the flock could see each other, she integrated into a flock of Buff Orpingtons and Speckled Sussexes. I don't know if these breeds are particularly laid back or what, but the ruthless pecking pile-on I was worried about never came to pass. There was definitely pecking, but nothing too bad (it seemed to me that the rooster would step in and protect her if the pecking got to be too much, which surprised me a bit), and by the morning when we checked in on her she was roosting right in the middle of the flock. We're heartbroken, but glad she's somewhere where we can visit her often.

View attachment 2422463
You did the very best thing! No poking her, shoving her upside down, chasing her + stressing her... no culling... just giving her a new home!

I understand it was hard, but it was really the right decision. Well done, I hope she will be happy!

We had that same issue. We place her in a cage for a day. Make sure she has fresh water and feed.
Hence the name"jail bird"! Did the trick. She's a bully. You are in control not them. Good luck!
Not sure if you read this through, she's already been rehomed. Not bad advice though!
 

LMN1966

Chirping
Jan 19, 2020
58
91
53
Ontario, Canada
You did the very best thing! No poking her, shoving her upside down, chasing her + stressing her... no culling... just giving her a new home!

I understand it was hard, but it was really the right decision. Well done, I hope she will be happy!



Not sure if you read this through, she's already been rehomed. Not bad advice though!
Yes I did just read her update. I changed my post. Thanks
 

Ginmary

Songster
Apr 17, 2018
701
1,832
207
Jackson, NJ
Obviously, this hen was aggressive and intentional in her behavior. Having said that, I personally would not allow any young child (or anyone for that matter,) to bend down and put their face near a hen. Eyes are nice shiny objects which should be pecked to see if they are delicious. I buy 1$ store safety goggles for when my girls jump on my shoulder.
 

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