Smacking the chickens?


11 Years
Sep 1, 2008
hi guys

i dono how people feel about it.
but i thought it might run it past you guys.

the other day, my young hen thats about 8 months old was being a very naughty chicken.
i was trying to train it to get into the coop at night.
but it kept refusing, a pretty expensive coop as well.

and since it wont go in, even pushing it comes back out so i locked the door on it.
and well, it was making a whole comotion...waking the neighbours up with its squawking noises...

i wasnt really in the mood for that, and it kept going louder and louder when i walked closer to the coop.
i guess i got carried away, i swung up then the door and smacked it several times.


anyhow, has anyone else done such a thing?

and before the incident, it was always fine with people patting it but now it seems a bit traumatised and runs away if u lift your arm to pat it.

im nasty?

what can i doto regain its trust? time?...and can they even be trained? or are they just so simple brained unlike cats or dogs?


12 Years
Jan 2, 2008
western mass
I would not want to do anything to hurt an animal, ever, for many reasons. But showing the animal you are dominant, when you need to, is different. You wouldnt, however, do that by hurting her, but by speaking a bit of her body language.

I have a a buff orp that is really , really rude to me; she waits til my bak is turned and then runs up, like stalking me, and pecks me really, really hard, usually in the exact same place every time.

Several BYC members gave me really good advice: before she can do this, I scoop her up and give her some rough play. Totally works and she has not attacked me in a few weeks now. I stroke her neck rather firmly, scratch her around the comb, stroke her crop, kinda bounce her around. This was advised for roosters, but I figure she's acting all roostery, so why not?

Totally worked.

Good morning, btw!


11 Years
Jun 3, 2008
upper peninsula
I dont think I would do it again. It sounds like she is going to remember that slapping.
I see that you havent really been a member long, but there is some really great advice on how to get chickies in the coop at night. Most of it revolves around letting them go in by themselves when it gets dark. I will tell you that I used a "scare stick". It was basecally a stick with a cutout of a large bird on one end. A few waves in the air and they run. But they do go into the coop by themselves. It kinda sounds like you might have lights in your yard and stuff that may be allowing her to feel safe outside later. If so you may want to try watching the brightness outside. If it is bright and you can adjust it or fix it, you should. Hope this helps
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Premium Feather Member
11 Years
Mar 25, 2008
There really must have been an issue with the coop, so she thought, for her to not want to go in it. Did you check to see if there was any varmit in there before you scolded her? There was obviously a reason for her to behave in this manner, which still didn't warrant a lashing. I have a Blue Orp. that got knocked in the head by me on accident several months ago while I was feeding and watering the chicks in the brooder. It was a complete accident and totally unintentional, but to this day she remembers it and will peck the fire out of me every chance she gets. I have worked with her by offering treats by hand and holding/petting her several times a day, but she still doesn't trust me and I don't know if she ever will again. Once I'm just holding and petting her, she's fine but she always sees my hand as a threat now. You are really going to have to do some damage control with your hen now and she might never forgive you for hitting her the way you did. In truth, hitting an animal will never solve any problem. If a chicken misbehaves, there is usually a reason behind it and as the owner of that chickens, it is your responsibility to figure out what is causing your chicken to act that way.


11 Years
Apr 21, 2008
North Central Florida
Do you have only the one bird? What I would suggest to do would be only feed her in the coop, and keep her inside for a day (forewarn the neighbors) or two, then only allowing her into a enclosed pen attached to the hen house, and then allow her to come and go once she has come to terms with hen house.
This is something I do and did, makes bedtime a whole lot easier when you teach them from the get go.
If you give treats, pass them out only in the coop. Make it a positive place.

When you scare a hen or any animal, it only comes back to bite you on the posterior side because then you have only increased their anxiety to their fear - true fear or not. Kids can comprehend why we spank, hens don't. They are creatures of habit. Buy using one color bucket, they can recognise treats, by banging on the side, they will be more motivated to join you at the coop door for goodies.

Good luck and sometimes you could honestly become abusive to certain personalities...regardless to what critter under the heavens. Don't be to hard on yourself, just try different habits and find what treat is the absolute favorite...bribery works
chickens are food motivated (hmmm me too).


11 Years
Apr 23, 2008
North GA
I kicked one of my roos the other day, but it was after the little bugger bit me. I wouldn't normally advocate smacking your chickens around.

I think I remember your earlier post - were you trying to get her to go into a certain part of the coop, or just into the coop in general? If she's already inside an area where she'll be safe, it doesn't really matter what part of the coop she likes to sleep in.


Queen Of Clueless
11 Years
Jul 27, 2008
Its probably not the best idea to smack them. I cant remember where I read this, but it said in bird "psychology" they dont connect what they are doing with being hit.
I dont know how true that is though.
(I wouldnt want to do it anyway.) Though I remember growing up on the farm when feeding chickens, kicking out at the ones going after my feet....


Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!
14 Years
Nov 9, 2007
SW Arkansas
I have "pecked" them on the head with my fingernail. It's no worse than what they get from their sisters and it gets the point across.


Premium Feather Member
13 Years
Jan 11, 2007
It sounds like you need to keep your chickens in their coop for a while, so they learn to like it. Smacking them is not going to make them like going into their coop at night. Them learning that it is a safe place to go will make them want to go there to sleep. Good luck to you.


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