What to do with a mean HEN?


9 Years
Feb 28, 2010
I've seen posts about mean roosters, but what about a mean hen? Can I copy the same techniques?

If it matters, my mean hen is not the "lead" hen. It's a different hen from the one who calls danger and who the other hens imitate. The mean hen is just a bully - she chases the other hens away from food, chases and picks on the smallest hen, and pecks at me.

So far she hasn't "won" any battles with me - when I know I have to handle her I always do it with a towel so I can cover her head and keep that beak away from me. She got her head loose and landed a good peck on me yesterday when I was clipping her wings. OUCH! It's all bruised and sore now. But I didn't let go, just covered her head and kept clipping. (No, I wasn't hurting her or drawing blood.)

Now I find myself hesitating when she is near something that I need to pick up (the water bowl, for instance). I don't want to live like that.

I would consider culling her, but I only have a flock of four, so the loss of one would be significant. If I could tame her or change her ways that would be preferable. Tips are welcome!
I wear leather gloves, I have one mean hen too! The last time I had a really mean hen she was a cross, and I used the towel method. My hens never jumped me though....
Just don't pull back from her, even if she gets you. Don't let her know she's startled or scared or hurt you. She'll "probably" give up. She WILL probably try to peck you when stealing eggs from under her. Can't blame her. If I were a chicken, I'd do the same thing.
She probably felt pretty insecure/scared during the wing clipping. I wouldn't blame her for attacking during that.
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When I was a kid, we had mean leghorns that were big bullies. They would ambush you, chase and flop anybody who ran from them. Look, there comes a time when you realize either they are going to change or not. I agree with you that you cannot live like that. If it doesn't get better, there's always the stew pot. Not to be cruel or gross.
I have a hen that can be mean--hence her name of mean marge. When I see her looking at me like she is thinking about pecking me, I chase her around the yard talking to her and keep after her until she submits. I then pick her up and carry her around for a while to let her know that I am the boss. Sometimes she struggles but I wont let her go until she is calm. If I see her bullying another hen, I chase her again. She has gotten better and doesnt act out as much now, especially if I am out there with them. I also would peck her back really hard with my finger when she would peck me. She doesnt peck me any more. You could try doing this with your hen. I do know that if you show any kind of fear or negative energy in front of any animal, they will take advantage of it. Sounds like you have to establish yourself as the dominate hen/roo because she has taken that spot from you!

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