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Why did my hen attack me?!

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by RockinRainbow, Mar 12, 2010.

  1. RockinRainbow

    RockinRainbow Out Of The Brooder

    Jan 25, 2010
    W. PA
    I have 13 - 7 month old hens. No roos and I'm brand new to raising chickens.
    We got these chicks as day olds and they were all handled and very friendly with my 3 kids.

    I specifically chose docile breeds and all hens so that I didn't have to deal with aggressive behavior.

    This morning, I was throwing out some scratch grain and petting the chickens as usual.
    My Golden-Laced Wyandotte bit my hand! (not too hard, but a deliberate attack) I wasn't even petting her at the time!

    So I gave gave her a shove as if to say I'm at the top of the pecking order. Then, I ignored her and
    petted the other chickens. She attacked me!, jumped up in my face and left long scratch marks down the side of my face and under my eye!!!!

    I thought hens were supposed to be gentle! We've never shown any aggressive behavior towards our chickens!
    Why would she attack me?! She has never shown any aggressive behavior towards people or other chickens before. What should I do?

    btw -- she is the only one of our chickens who is not laying eggs... could she think she's a Roo?
  2. Soccer Mom

    Soccer Mom Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 5, 2009
    West of Crazy
    That sounds like a rooster (and an evil one, too!)

    Do you have any pics? We might be able to tell you if it's Victor or Victoria.
  3. ninny

    ninny Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 1, 2007
    IL side of the QCA
    A picture is really needed.
  4. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
  5. debilorrah

    debilorrah The Great Guru of Yap Premium Member

    Quote:1) Were you wearing red?
    2) Did you have shiny nail polish on?
    3) Is she usually your favorite or the first to receive attention?
  6. PunkinPeep

    PunkinPeep Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 31, 2009
    SouthEast Texas
    Whether this is Victor or Victoria, i would (if i were you) go out there right now and pick her/him up and walk around with this bird under your arm. If he/she ever pecks you again, pick him/her up and hold that beak in your fingers. Be careful not to close the nostrils when you do it, but this is the prime time to nip that behavior in the bud. If this is a Victor, and he thinks somehow that he's protecting his girls, that could explain things. My Rocky tried to "protect" the girls from me one time, and then i showed him who's boss, and he is now the best rooster i could've dreamed to have. I'm in love with him. He's fantastic with his girls, he's a great protector, and he understands that i'm the boss.

    I would only use the broom someone suggested if you're going to subdue him/her with it. I would not just swat at him. I think that sends the wrong message. It doesn't tell him that you're in charge - only that you're an adversary. Adversaries are to be fought again.

    And yes, i think we definitely need a picture.
  7. cap1717

    cap1717 6 chooks, 1 slave. . . me!

    Jun 12, 2009
    I have spent a lot of time hand feeding my chickens, in order to tame them, and it has worked. My RIR hen will now jump at me and try to grab my hand, when she sees me. . . I think this is not agressiveness in any traditional sense, but just a behavior that I have unintentially trained. My other chooks do seem to be a bit more patient. . . but they all crowd around and get under my feet when they can. Better than having chickens you can't get near, I suppose.
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2010
  8. rancher hicks

    rancher hicks Chicken Obsessed

    Feb 28, 2009
    Syracuse, NY
    Quote:When I read things like this I hope people are kidding. Never respond to an animal w/ aggression that is not the way to win their confidence. If this becomes a problem then it is time to cull them ,but chasing or hitting them w/ a broom is not the answer and can only lead to more aggressive attacks and could result in a more serious injury.
    If you don't want to cull him then everynight when he's on the roost, take him down and hold him for awhile, until he no longer see you as a threat. If this does not work then he has to go.
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 12, 2010
  9. RockinRainbow

    RockinRainbow Out Of The Brooder

    Jan 25, 2010
    W. PA
    Quote:1) Were you wearing red?
    2) Did you have shiny nail polish on?
    3) Is she usually your favorite or the first to receive attention?

    1. Wearing blue.
    2. Nail polish? NO! who has time!
    3. No -- not a favorite. and definitely not a favorite now!

    I'll try and get a picture later today. Right now, I'm still very MAD at her! (or him)
  10. RockinRainbow

    RockinRainbow Out Of The Brooder

    Jan 25, 2010
    W. PA
    Here are a few picture of Felicity!

    maybe I should rename her Fevilicity!


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