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What is the best way to break an agressive hen?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by BethieofVA, Aug 6, 2010.

  1. BethieofVA

    BethieofVA Songster

    Mar 27, 2010
    Yorktown, Virginia
    She comes after me, my feet, my legs, as soon as I am walk in the run. If pet the other ladies, she tried to bite me. She won't let me get near her. I think she thinks she's the roo or at least the head hen. I need to convey to her otherwise. All my birds are 21 weeks and have yet to lay.

  2. Camelot Farms

    Camelot Farms Chickenista

    I dont have any advice on the hen but wanted to let you know not to worry about the laying yet. The high temps here in VA are slowing them all down. I bet as soon as we get some cooler days, you will see some eggs!

    Good luck!
  3. BeccaB00

    BeccaB00 Songster

    Jun 16, 2010
    Somtimes you cant do anything about aggresive chickens. [​IMG] If petting and handling each day dont work then i doubt you can break the aggresive behavior. [​IMG]
  4. bigdaddyabc

    bigdaddyabc Songster

    May 5, 2010
    I copied this from another post. It is for a rooster, but this hen thinks she is one, so.........

    Step 1 - Get a stick.

    Step 2 - Poke the rooster with the stick.

    2a - Pay particular attention to the back of his head to down between his wings. Literally hen peck him. Do this until he is HUMILIATED. Humble his butt, seriously. Give chase if necessary, and it will be.

    Step 3 - Like the shampoo bottle says, repeat. Every time you go in the coop for a few days. He will get the picture that YOU are the head rooster and not to be trifled with.

    Step 4 - If his instincts don't kick in an put him in his place, I believe his place becomes freezer camp. MEAN = DELICIOUS around here.

    As an aside, a good stiff whack with said stick for good measure might help him "understand".

  5. Chickenaddict

    Chickenaddict Songster

    May 19, 2008
    East Bethel MN
    Lock the hen up in a dog crate for a few days alone then reintroduce her to the flock. Thats the method I use for hens who bully other hens and it worked great!
  6. I was once attacked by my Head Hen (least she thought she was). She jumped in the air and pecked me through my jeans on the thigh and brought blood. I walked back out the pen and grabbed a stick. "I am She Who Brings All Food AND She Who Must Be Obeyed!" I smacked her on the head with the stick, chased her away, and fed everyone else.

    Never hit a hen on the rear or sides with a stick (or foot). The worst thing you could do to a hen would be to break an egg inside her.

    Sit on the rude chicken. I don't mean squash them. My husband grabs the offending rooster or hen, presses them to the ground, and kneels over them. The chicken swears Hubby is trying to mate with them and this obviously shows Hubby is the Alpha and everyone else must submit. Also, be sure to laugh at them. One look at the chicken's face usually is all it takes (lol) but they do understand laughter and laughter at their expense is humiliating.

    While you are holding down or sitting on the offender, throw food or treats to the others. Keeping the "student" from eating shows you are in charge also.

    Carry a "stick" with you into the yard everytime for the next week or so. We have a children's rake. It's less than 3 feet long and the fan on the rake is less than a foot. Just right for swinging to make a point, but won't cause serious damage! At the first sign of any issue, I grab the rake. Otherwise, the rake is against the fence, ready for action.

    When the 4H guide for raising chickens tells children to meet a rude rooster's attack with a swift kick, you KNOW that has to be right. Just saying. [​IMG]
  7. Jenski

    Jenski Songster

    Jun 17, 2008
    Middle Tennessee
    I personally am not in favor of hitting or poking chickens, though that may work for others. I am more in the Rooster Red camp which favors carrying the naughty bird around under your arm until they do not fight. Making up their own little song to hum or whistle while you do this can also help - - the sound of their little song can stop them in their tracks, as they then know what's coming!

    You might check Rooster Red's BYC page for more info if you like.

    That said, not all hens are going to be "nice." If this turns out to be a temperament issue that is not fixable, you might try re-homing her to a large farm where she (and you) might be more happy. It's just not any fun having a stressful chicken pen.

    Good luck! [​IMG]
  8. BethieofVA

    BethieofVA Songster

    Mar 27, 2010
    Yorktown, Virginia
    Thank you everyone for your advice. I only have four hens, but this one is sooooo pushy with me. I have swatted at her a couple of times, because sometimes she does scare me. I always greet my girls, Hello Lucy, Hello Daisy, Hello Minnie, and Hello B*tch. LOL! It really is Abby, but she is making me so mad. I don't want to loose her, so I will try some of your techniques.

    Anymore? Thanks!
  9. Montana-Hens

    Montana-Hens Songster

    Feb 20, 2008
    Buxton, Montana
    Grit Star has a method she swears by and many others have used.

    I on the other hand use a small childrens rake, to "beat" the ground behind the offending bird. Sort of like I can chase you too. I never beat or poke my birds. But sort-of I am big and have wings that I can invade your space better than you can invade mine. If this does not slow them down in a week they go directely to freezer camp. There is not a place at my house for aggresive roosters or hens.
  10. Keens2050

    Keens2050 In the Brooder

    Jul 24, 2010
    Narvon, PA
    If you have the decency to provide a wonderful habitat for any creature - food, water, shelter - the LEAST they can do is be nice. I am soooo glad I haven't had any nasty birds but I can tell you if I did, and their behavior couldn't be corrected, they wouldn't be welcome around here anymore. NASTY = TASTY. The nastier they be, the tastier they become.

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