You love your chickens, but every once in a while you’ll have a bad egg in the bunch. When chickens attack it can either be a natural behavior that can be corrected, or a personality problem that cannot. 

First, take a deep breath because you don’t have to send your attack chicken to freezer camp right away. 

We’ve got your back, and in this article, we’re talking about how to nip bad behavior in the bud before it becomes a bad habit. 


Why Do Chickens Attack?

Chickens are prey animals by nature. This means they’re on the bottom of the food chain, and they know it. 

In most cases, chickens run in the opposite direction, rather than toward you…or after you for that matter. 

With that being said, there are a few reasons your chicken might be acting a little aggressive. 

Broody Hens

Most chickens aren’t interested in attacking humans. Moreover, hens rarely attack unless they’re sitting on eggs or protecting young chicks. 

So if you’ve got a broody hen on your hands, just know, it’s natural and normal for her to peck at you, to fluff up, and even growl if you so much as look at her. 

If you’ve decided to allow your hen to sit on her eggs (if they’re fertilized by a rooster) simply leave her alone. She’s being a good momma and should be left to care for her eggs as she sees fit. 

Similarly, broody hens may be a tad more aggressive if they have young chicks at their side. In this case, it’s best to steer clear or confine the hen and her babes to a safe space where she can’t chase you, your other animals, or guests. 

As her chicks age, she’ll back down and relax a bit. But for now, she’s just being a protective momma hen…and that’s ok.

On the other hand, hens may become broody without fertilized eggs, or when you don’t want her to sit on her eggs. 

Aggression in this situation can be a bit frustrating because you know her efforts will be fruitless, and you just want your breakfast. 

In this situation, it’s best to remove the hen from the eggs, and keep her in a separate space until the broody behavior stops. 

Some hens become broody on a regular basis, and some breeds go broody more easily than others, like the Buff Orpington, for example. 

So if you know you don’t want to deal with broody hens, look for breeds that aren’t prone to broody behavior. 


Aggressive Breeds

We don’t really believe that breeds of chickens can be generalized as aggressive because behavior varies from chicken-to-chicken, and not necessarily breed-t-breed. 

For example, the Rhode Island Red rooster often gets a bad rep for being aggressive. But some of the nicest roosters we’ve seen are RIRs. It just depends on the individual chicken. 

With that being said, it doesn’t hurt to know more about the typical behavior of the breeds you’re interested in keeping.


How to Stop a Rooster from Attacking

Roosters can be aggressive. But not always. 

If your beloved boy turns into a meanie, you’re going to have your hands full. An aggressive rooster can be dangerous to humans, pets, and other chickens. 

Their sharp spurs can cause serious injuries and a mean rooster should be taken seriously from the start. 

When a rooster fluffs up, and crows, that’s often all he will do. In most cases, this kind of behavior is harmless. 

He’s either warning you to be careful around his ladies, asserting himself to other predators, or showing off for the girls. 

But it can also be a precursor to poor behavior. So keep an eye on him when he starts maturing to ensure that the behavior stops there. 

On the other hand, if innocent crowing turns into threats, chasing, or attacking, it’s time to stand up for yourself. 

You can head off this behavior by making loud noises, saying NO, and making yourself “bigger” than your sassy roo. 

If that doesn’t work, you can use a squirt bottle to deter a mean rooster, and safely teach him that you’re in charge. 

If you can stay on top of this behavior as your rooster matures, you may be able to stop it before it gets out of control and becomes a habit. 


Time to Say Goodbye to The Attack Chicken?

Most of the time, you can get ahead of bad behavior, but if you have a chicken that continues to act out, it might be time to say goodbye to the bird. 

Specifically, a mean rooster can inflict serious injuries on you, your guests, children, and even fellow flockmates. 

There are plenty of nice chickens out there, and a mean attack bird isn’t something you need to deal with. So, if you can’t get the aggressive chicken under control, it’s time to decide if you’d like to process the bird, or give it away to someone who will process it if you’d prefer not to. 

Then, take some time to enjoy the newly found peace amongst your flock. 

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