I've had chickens peck my feet out of confusion because I guess they thought my shoes looked like food. They always moved on when they realized it wasn't food. The turkeys did it all the time because they aren't bright enough to figure out what is and isn't food. If I had a chicken persistently peck at my feet I'd give it a soft kick away from me, continuously, until it stopped. If it didn't stop I'd eat it. Life is too short for annoying/mean livestock!
The pecking is at my shoes, not exposed toes. She also tends to do it more as I'm walking away from her, almost as if she's running me off. She does this to me and my 8 year old daughter but never my wife (yet).
I'm just gonna be honest here. I had a rooster, not a hen, who did that to my shoes. He followed me doing it a few times. Next time, he flew at my butt and flogged it as I was walking away. I kicked him like a football and he never did it again. Was I mean? I don't think so. Was he trying to show dominance? I believe so.
The pecking an 8 yo child concerns me, especially since it's shoes and not bare toes. Bare toes I can understand, that's just a chicken for you. Shoes and as you are leaving, not so normal. Push her away, gently, with your foot. If she gets more persistent, be a little less gentle. If she still gets aggressive and it escalates instead of tapering off, I would consider putting the hen in the stewpot.
You guys! Chickens as well as the other farm animals that we keep while being somewhat domesticated are still animals. While I an fond of most of my animals they are just that...animals. Chickens peck thats what they do! I had a nasty roo one time. He came at me hard and drew blood I then bled him out on the spot. That has been the only one I ever had to cull for being nasty. I have a very good RIR now. Crows to much but thats what they do! He comes at me on occasion, but I just **** him away. Wait till you get a steer that likes to play rough. Animals are not pets. While I give mine the best life they can have for the short time they are on earth. In the long run they are food. Didn't your mother ever tell you not to play with your food?
so you ask is your chicken pecking at your feet could be trying to establish a pecking order or dominance as you put it? Well sure she is nip it in the bud yell at her the next time she does it loud. Run her off. I learned this the hard way I had a asil hen like that used to jump in the feed bucket wile I was feeding one day wile I wasn’t wearing a shirt I caught her up to put her away and she almost bit my nipple off. Worst pain ever next to kidney stones. Just always remember a chicken can hurt you …BAD!
A couple of my hens are obsessed with my Crocs. They aren't red, they are grey. But the holes on the top... I am fairly certain they think juicy worms might pop out at any moment. So the couple in question are on alert to my feet when I have those on! They don't peck much, they just sit on top of my feet and stare, and examine, and peck slowly- like a pulling type of peck, lol. Makes it very difficult to walk around!
All the chickens enjoy pecking snow off boots, as others mentioned.
My Polish rooster so far in his 1.5 years of age, is deathly afraid of me, so I have no worries with him. I do have 3 of his mixed breed progeny I believe to be roosters, so wonder how they will be... but so far, they are also deathly afraid of me as well. We won't have them for long though... either freezer camp or give-away as we don't need 4 roosters.
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