Pecking at me at every given chance....

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by savingpurple, Jun 16, 2011.

  1. savingpurple

    savingpurple Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 2, 2011
    NW Ohio
    I have 2 white leghorns, and 5 New Hampires reds..about 3 months old to the date. Each one is constantly trying to peck my hand, or my feet. This morning, the last lady to go out each day, the one I plan on working with on my vacation,to try to learn to walk down, not fly and hit the wall, took a good bite on my hand today. Drew blood. She was the last one in the coop, so I did scould her.

    Now I know white leghorns are higher strung, flighty birds, but the NHR's ??? They were so calm as chicks and I could hold them, and now, that they have been living in the coop/outdoor run a few months, they seem to be alot more aggressive.

    Will spending more time in the outdoor run with them help? If I do pick one up, they stay calm, and quiet, and I can rub their comb, but as soon as they are down, they are after my feet, and my legs!

    Any suggestions, don't want to be afraid of my own chickens. Also don't like being bitten....that really hurt this morning!
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2011
  2. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Show me the way old friend Staff Member

    Mar 21, 2011
    New Mexico, USA
    My Coop
    I had the exact problem a few days ago with one of my 3 1/2 month of Australorp girls. After being the sweetest baby ever, one day last week she turned into a monster, attacking my hands and even raising her hackes at me and running at me! While all my babies peck at my feet and legs when I sit down, they should never "open beak" bite you. I was very discuraged at first as chickens are supposed to be fun to keep.

    So what I did for 2 days was ever time she bit me, at first I was gently pushing her away from me but that only mad her more mad. So what I did was grab her and flip her over on her back, holding her down to the ground, pinning her, and gave her a piece of my mind. I had to do this about 4 times in a two day period. I even posted this exact same question about how to deal with it, and some folks said that I needed to isolate her for a week or 2 to bring her down a few notches. At one point, on the second day while trying to spend time with my other girls, and she bit me, I picked her up and put her in the coop for about an hour, all alone. She hated it.

    However, as of 3 or so days, she has not bit me. I know with mean roosters, you aren't supposed to give them much attention as that lowers your status with the bird. So with my girl, I just have to ignore her for now. She still gets the treats, but I don't touch her, or sit next her or do much in the acknowlegement dept with her. And she is fine with this. She isn't biting and may come around as she ages.

    Chickens shouldn't be mean. And if they do, it may be time to rehome them, if they just don't get along with you. Good luck with your birds....Leyla [​IMG]
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2011
  3. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Show me the way old friend Staff Member

    Mar 21, 2011
    New Mexico, USA
    My Coop
    UPDATE: I think I have found something that may cure the biting issues. Someone told me about this the other day when I posted a similar question and I tried it, and it does work. Next time your bird bites you and makes a challenge of it, take your index finger and hold it just above the comb, in front of the bird. Tap on the head of the bird and they will back down. I had to use it on my girl today, the one I just spoke of in the my last post, and she backed down just like the others do when she challenges them. I did this 2 times, and told her "no biting" and she stopped immediately, gestured as a lower in the pecking order bird, and just sat down at my feet. Try it on your bird and I hope it works! Leyla [​IMG]
  4. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

    May 3, 2009
    New Jersey
    Your chickens regard you as an equal and are trying to subordinate you in the pecking order. Convince them that you are dominant or this behavior may escalate.
  5. Attila the Hen

    Attila the Hen Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 6, 2010
    Blue Ridge GA
    I have one hen that pecks me to get my attention. She wants me to pick her up and hold her. If I put her down too soon she pecks me again. Tonight I had on orange flip flops and she bit my foot three times and really hurt!!
    Several thoughts. First, I got rid of the flip flops and she didn't bite me again. I also picked her up, took her in the house and put a leg band on her so I could see her coming.
    One of my 5 hens died yesterday and this hen bit me hard only after another bit her badly. Maybe they are trying to re-establish pecking order and I got in the middle of it.
    So, we will see. Should be interesting to see if she becomes more aggressive and needs correcting--I tend to doubt it though.

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