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Uber aggresive hen

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by sassychiken, Sep 24, 2010.

  1. sassychiken

    sassychiken In the Brooder

    May 19, 2009
    Coastal Bend
    Hey there! I need some advice. I have three hens and one of them has done the whole "taking on the rooster" role. She has become extremely aggressive and attacks me whenever I get near her. She launched herself at my head one time and nearly took my eye out - I don't go near the chickens now without some sort of protective eyewear.

    She is just shy of a year old and at first I thought she was aggressive because she was molting and cranky. But this has carried past that phase. She is truly vicious. I hate to be mean to her but I've had to become physically aggressive back at her just out of shear self-defense. I'm concerned that I might have to get rid of her but I wonder, with her gone will one of the other chickens take on that sort of personality or by a year old are their "characters" pretty much set?

    I've read that one should hold an saucy hen until they calm down but honestly I can't get close enough to do even that.

    Any advice would be appreciated!!! Thanks!

  2. Kelly G

    Kelly G It's like herding cats!

    I (currently) don't have any aggressive chickens, but my chickens are also not hand-held pets...it's too hard to make 50 chickens into pets that love to be handled. Anyway, sometimes I need to catch an individual for something and it's hard to catch a chicken that doesn't want to be caught!

    We purchased a large fishing net from Walmart that's on an 6' pole...and I use this to catch the chickens - no problem! The net was less than $25 and we just purchased it last month. The net holds up really well to their claws, too.

    Maybe this net would enable you to catch your ornary hen so you can carry her around and fix her sorry self!
  3. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    I too have a fishing net on a long pole that I catch my chickens with. I have a lot of chickens.

    If it were me, I would not tolerate being attacked. I would separate her in a dog kennel for a few days. Then reintroduce her. This might knock her down in the pecking order. Then I would hold her every day, and walk around with her, offer her treats, etc.

    If this didn't work, I would repeat it. I do not tolerate aggression. Any more.

    ETA: Because my eyes and my children's eyes are too valuable.
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2010
  4. Land of Lost Toys

    Land of Lost Toys In the Brooder

    Jul 30, 2009
    I have one hen who was acting similar to yours - always attacking the other 3 hens. Everytime she would go after one and peck it, I would pick her up and hold her as if I was the boss hen. She stopped doing it after a couple weeks of showing her who was the boss.
  5. Happy Chooks

    Happy Chooks Moderator Staff Member

    Jul 9, 2009
    Northern CA
    My Coop
    I would remove her from the flock for at least a week, if not 2 weeks. Then integrate her back in. The others will have "forgotten" about her and she'll get the crud beat out of her by the other hens.
  6. greenSearcher

    greenSearcher Songster

    Aug 22, 2010
    I bought the fishing net at Wally World, and it has a nice curve in the handle after a year of chasing chickens. Premier1supplies.com has a D shaped catch net for only $24. I'll be getting one since the only other D shaped catch net I've found is $75. A wood handle isn't worth that much to me.

    If you have problems catching her, take her off the roost before dawn, as soon as you can see her. If you have extra lighting, that won't work. but you can always collect her at night and do the taming session then.

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