By Rapunzel1974 - 01/09/2013 04:29 - United States - Gulfport

Today, while I was teaching my chickens to eat out of my hand, one of the hens bit my finger and I dropped the entire handful of treats. Result: bonanza for the bird. The rest decided they could get more treats by biting me rather than by behaving. I now have a flock of fingerbiters. FML
I agree, your life sucks 40 309
You deserved it 7 431

Rapunzel1974 tells us more.

I'm the OP. I'm the one with the Fabulous Fingerbiters. These chickens aren't food: they're overindulged pets. Each one has a name, so chicken stew isn't an option. I've named them after various vaudeville stars or actresses because they're a lot of feathery drama queens. Actually, biting the hand that feeds them is right in line with the entertainment-industry theme I chose when naming them. A chicken bite from a baby bird isn't really painful at all because their little beaks are so soft. Even an adult bird's peck isn't painful in the same way a dog or cat bite is painful. They can't break the skin, although if they get you in the face it can leave a scratch or welt. A parrot, by contrast, can take your finger off. Chickens just aren't strong enough. These are going to be lovely laying hens. They're just a bit cheeky. I think I can break them of the habit by switching for a while to grass instead of mealworms, by *not* dropping the goodies no matter what, and moving on to the second phase of training, where I train them to hop onto my lap and sit there to be fed and petted. When training a chicken, it's important to use food as a reward. They're not like dogs and they don't consider attention a reward. They don't even consider petting a reward until they're conditioned to do so, because it's not a normal behavior or sensation for them. But it's straight-up operant conditioning, right out of B.F. Skinner

Top comments

grimrepa2007 3

OP. I'm going to assume you like chickens.... alot

Let them have their treats OP. Fatten them up. And when they're least expecting it.... Chicken pie time.


ducksaretheshit 17

I have a duck who is the same way.

tjv3 10

Kill the ringleader and set an example

I bought chicks and ducks once for fun and then sell them I dont live in a farm or anything but the ducks plucked off all the chicks feathers and the last chick was drowned by the ducks in the water bowl. I left them in there for one night and the seller said they would be fine together. I feel very bad and am still searching for that asshole seller.

Let them have their treats OP. Fatten them up. And when they're least expecting it.... Chicken pie time.

Dawnstempest 17

@Adam As long as they don't start building planes, I think they will be alright.

KVKdragon 26

Nooooo chicken escapes from Rapunzel1974's farm!

KVKdragon 26

OMG. I love you for that reply XD

My horse does the same! Difference is, the horse breaks skin!

Hiimhaileypotter 52

I don't let my horse do that shit. If a kid were to go out there and get bitten because I didn't discipline my horse, it'd be my fault.

No it'd be the kid's fault for going near a horse.

Are you one of those people who thinks horses are scary and thus no one should own them, 31?

How the heck are you feeding the horse? I give my horse carrots or apples with a flat out palm. He picks the treats up with his lips.

No, 31, it really wouldn't be. Often horses are very gentle and calm creatures, until it comes to food. Lots of animals get possessive and eager come meal time - its an instinct that can be broken.

asnakelovinbabe 16

35 we snake keepers often receive similar logic.... "I am terrified of snakes, that means nobody should have them!"

Dawnstempest 17

@4 If your horse did that, you wouldn't have any fingers. @ 21 What the hell? As long as you don't stick your fingers up like treats, or punch the horse in the mouth... And you don't have an abused one, there should be no reason a horse ever bites you. Unless it's trying to play (in which case it's just as likely to come alongside of you and knock you flat by slamming into you with its side). Sometimes they nip you then turn around and run like dogs (especially as colts/ foals) expecting you to chase them. Otherwise, I can't think of a single reason for a horse to bite you unless it's just one of those mean ones. You don't need to discipline a horse because you're worried about some kid. If the kid gets bit it's almost always because the kid did something stupid. I've worked with abused horses before (rescue horses), and they never bit anyone... Unless people did something stupid... In which case; good job horse. I've found all but a very very few horses can be trained by just taking the time with them and having patience.

How can it ever be the animal's fault? We can't understand their minds, and we should always expect them to bite us if we aren't handling them properly. It's in their nature to bite things. Animals (particularly large or dangerous ones) should be respected. it's not ok to let a kid put his/her hands near a horse's mouth and then say it's the horse's fault for biting them.

Yeah I used to be iffy about snakes especially wild ones, but my cousins neighbor is a snake keeper and he has 50+ snakes that he keeps and they're all secure according to the laws and be let's us come over and hold them and the whole nine yards. As long as we don't crowd them and we're gentle, the snakes don't bite and they're truly amazing creatures.

Please don't take this the wrong way but I love you #42! We get the same thing from our customers as breeders ourselves with reptiles (snakes in particular, obviously lol).

no it wouldn't be the kid's fault. if the horse bites the kid it will be the fault of the owner. that is how it will be viewed legally.

rumaihm 7

Sorry OP but that is hilarious.

Agreed; I was laughing my head off while sharing this. We have to laugh at ourselves, after all: why should our pets have all the fun?

Wear some thick gloves next time, like gardening gloves, then when they learn biting doesn't work you can remove the glove.

The worst thing about a chicken bite is it catches you off guard. My neighbor raised chickens until he had kidney failure and passed away. I used to go out and play with them all the time. He gave me a rooster that had injured his feet in a hurricane accident (cage blew over and he got tangled in it) I would hand feed him almost every day. Their bites don't hurt. Their beaks feel odd when they nip your finger thought so it can startle you pretty easily if you're not expecting/used to it.

No, I'm the OP and my nickname is Rapunzel1974. I don't know how it came out as "Anonymour" unless it was Anonymous and the first letter of my real nickname.

Such mutiny is unacceptable, the punishment is death! Death by being eaten by OP!

They'll get over it soon enough as long as you don't validate the behavior any further. Maybe wear a glove in the mean time?