The fight between me and Lily, who's winning?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by thndrdancr, Jan 29, 2008.

  1. thndrdancr

    thndrdancr Songster

    Mar 30, 2007
    Belleville, Kansas
    Well, I dont think I am winning. I am bloodied and ticked off. This morning I just about wrung Lily's neck, we had a real set to. She grabbed me HARD, and I grabbed HER hard, and we went round and round.

    So I thought, perhaps she was grabbing my hand since she sees it as a threat. The good Lord knows bopping her back when she bites me isn't teaching her anything. So I thought I would try a new tactic. This one is REALLY gonna try my patience. And it hurts too. [​IMG] I will try this for a week or so, and if her behavior doesnt settle, I guess she is a goner. I know thats what I did with a badly pecking parakeet, she just had to learn not to be upset with my "hand". Hope and pray it works with Lily and she doesnt bloody me enough that I kill her in the meantime!

    So every time she would go to peck me, I would stroke her gently. She really didnt know what to make of it, I could tell, but heavens I was ready to kill her. She bloodied my hand in three dif places, and well as giving some good scratches in several more. She continues to bite like this, and I am getting rid of her. I will wait til puberty is past, but this behavior is really unacceptable. I just dont understand it. She comes running to me when i am standing up, or when she is scared, but its like she doesnt know the hand and I am attached. If she can bloody me this badly now, I can only imagine how much worse damage she can do when older. [​IMG]
  2. Sorry to hear this, what breed is she, if she is a silky , she needs a good haircut.
    I hope she learns to behave.
    I must say ive never had a hen bite me and if she did, i dont think I would like her, however if she is a good egglayer/breeder you may need to get some tactics happening.
    Good luck
  3. ChuckenGirl

    ChuckenGirl Songster

    Dec 22, 2007
    Maryland :)
    have to yelled no and kind of hit her on the side of the head?
    thats what i did to one of my roosters. lol.
  4. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude

    Jill, your situation is a little odd for a chicken, living in a house, in and out of a box, if I've understood what you're doing with them. I think they really need an outside coop so they can form normal flock relationships. I dont really know what's going on because I've never had an aggressive BR come out of my birds. They are my sweetest birds, especially Lily's parents.
    If you swat at her, that is definitely the wrong thing to do. You are only sparring with her and she looks at you like you are on her level. You need to grab her up with your hand pressing down on her back and carry her around for awhile when she bites you OR press her to the ground like a rooster would. Dont hit at her-that is sparring. I know from experience with my head hen, who used to be pretty cantankerous with us when we were holding other hens. Get something nasty tasting and put it on you when you know she'll bite you, if you can manage that somehow. Something is wrong here and I just am not sure what; the only thing I do know is that you have to think like a chicken and interact with her accordingly.
  5. Wynette

    Wynette Moderator

    Sep 25, 2007
    I've never heard of a hen being nasty like that; what Cyn says makes sense to me, though. I was thinking the same thing, of putting something nasty tasting on your hand.

    I don't have much chicken experience yet, but I do have years and years of horse experience, and I can tell you that horses that are stalled 24/7 tend to develop nasty habits. Some trainers feel that when a horse is in training, they "need" to be in a stall all the time, so that when they are removed for training, they eventually look forward to being out for ANY duration, and calm down. I've found that to backfire. They're herd animals, like chickens are flock animals, and they need time out in the field.

    I have a new horse trainer this year, and one of the reasons I chose him is that he strongly believes horses in training DO need time out in the pasture a horse! He leaves them in their stall, brings them out to work them, and then turns them out, sort of as a reward. While training, when the horse settles down and gives to whatever he's asking of them, he stops the training & turns them out.

    I know chickens are VERY different creatures from horses, but I think the same principles apply. Do you have an area where you could let her out? If not, maybe try to find a chicken saddle with a loop on it for walking your girl. I bought a couple off the Internet, and they came with little loops at the top and you can clip a leash right on! I've not done that yet, but may do so eventually, since mine do not free range.

    Sorry I was so wordy....I'm happy to hear you're looking for options on how to deal with this, rather than just giving her the boot! BEST of luck!!
  6. thndrdancr

    thndrdancr Songster

    Mar 30, 2007
    Belleville, Kansas
    I have tried the "holding" her down gently, etc picking her up, etc.
    I am puzzled, cuz she wants a lot of attention, etc. I have her out alot, its just its been so darned cold I even had my big girls in and they havent integrated well at all, so I need to get another pen to put alongside the big girls til they are more "flocky". Right now, I am totally certain there would be blood.
    I am alternating them out when its nice enuff, but its getting to be a chore. I HATE winter.
    At least its been nice the last two days. sigh...
    I also thought of somethin on my hands that tastes bad, what can I use that won't hurt her?
    I know it sounds like she is "in a box" more often than not, but thats really not the case, I give them a lot of out time, outside most of the day, etc. when its decent.
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2008
  7. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude

    Jill, Vicks Vaporub wont hurt, hot pepper juice/Tabasco wont hurt, anything like that. You have to let them work it out-pecking order can look rough, but you just have to let them! There may be a scratch or two, but they will develop their own hierarchy, I promise you. Just close your eyes and let 'em duke it out. She needs to live like a chicken and I bet this aggression thing will ease off. JMHO.
  8. IHeartChickens

    IHeartChickens Songster

    Nov 13, 2007
    Pacific NW
    Aw gosh. I'm sorry your having troubles with Lily. I hope you find an answer here. It would be so sad if you had to get rid of her. :aww

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