sweet chick just turned mean

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by NOLAchickenlady, Dec 18, 2010.

  1. NOLAchickenlady

    NOLAchickenlady Hatching

    Dec 18, 2010
    I've only had hens since July. We got them as week olds and have handled them daily so they usually allow us to hold them and pet them. Alice the friendly chicken is a brown leghorn who seemed to like the attention the most. She has always pecked gently out of curiosity but last night after letting her out of the coop, she stalked my legs and pecked me hard on the hand when I went to pet her. this morning she followed me around the yard and pecked at my legs and tried to jump up on me and scratch me with her feet. What is up with her? She has not yet laid eggs. I have a light in their coop giving them at least 14 hours of light a day.

  2. Denninmi

    Denninmi Songster

    Jul 26, 2009
    Quote:What is up is that the birds are reaching sexual maturity, hormones are kicking in, and they are trying to establish dominance in the pecking order.
  3. sharol

    sharol Songster

    Jun 13, 2010
    Admire, KS
    My Golden Campine has been just the opposite. She was always skittish and didn't want to be handled. I treated her exactly as her 6 hatch mates, but she just didn't want to be touched. About 2 weeks ago she started squatting every time I approached her. Then a couple of days later, she jumped up on my leg when I was sitting in their coop talking to them and skritching those who wanted petted. Since then, she has been extremely affectionate. She is always the first in line for a little scratch and pet. I asked her the other day, "Who are you, and what did you do with Scout?" It is like a different bird. Hormones, I suppose. I got a little white egg from her a week ago, and nothing since, so we shall see.

    edited to add: I got them in July also.
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2010
  4. PaulaJoAnne

    PaulaJoAnne Songster

    Jul 30, 2009
    Once order is established, things will settle down.
  5. Pequena Bandada

    Pequena Bandada Small Flock

    Jun 13, 2010
    Hormones! She's trying to let you know that she's higher than you are in the pecking order. Every time she tries to peck, I'd pick her up and pet her so that she realizes you're still the boss.
  6. bantyshanty

    bantyshanty Oval Office Courier

    Oct 6, 2009
    S.W Pennsylvania
    You've got a mean teen! When she settles into her egg-laying routine she should become a lot more docile. Every one of my hens has gotten mean for a bit right before & after starting to lay.
    I give mine special treats at first when they're in the nest box to lay. See if this works [​IMG]
  7. crazy4chix

    crazy4chix In the Brooder

    Nov 25, 2010
    I have a 7mo. old rooster that started showing signs of aggression toward us when his hormones kicked in. When he acts agressive, I pick him up and humiliate him by petting his comb and rubbing his wattles and pushing his head down.

    She sees you as another chicken and she is trying to be dominant. Don't let her scare you into submission. Walk right up to her and if she pecks you, reach down and push her away. Pick her up, pet her neck, push her head down. Let her know you are dominant. Don't throw things at her or hurt her. Just puff up your chest and let her know you are the boss!

  8. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon
    I don't mean to sound rude but are you sure she's a hen? I've never had a hen act like that! Maybe post a pic?
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2010
  9. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

    Nov 9, 2007
    SW Arkansas
    You'll see your first egg from her soon. [​IMG]
  10. pkw

    pkw Songster

    May 14, 2010
    North Edwards, CA
    I will tell you what works when my rooster tries to attack me ... I catch him and hold him for a bit and then he goes into segregation away from his hens and I have had to do that twice now. Anymore he has went out of his way to stay away from me. I think he has finally learned I am bigger than he is.

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