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Blind Hen or Special Needs?

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 

I recently bought two Barred Rock hens. The first day I had them at home I placed them in the run and took my existing flock out to range to give the new ones time alone in the run. One of the first things I noticed was one of the hens (Speckles) literally bumped her head on a roost in the henhouse. Then a few minutes later she did it again. When I tossed treats (mealworms)  to them, the other hen found every one of them...poor Speckles just stood there and acted like she couldn't figure out what to do. She is not interested in scratch or any treats...she really just stands there looking down at it but doesn't go to eat it. She finds her feed just fine though. She is also really shy and is currently at the bottom of the pecking order in the flock. I at first thought she was just too shy to jump in to get the treats, but now I wonder....

 

But she is eating and laying just fine...finds her way into the house at night to roost (although I discovered yesterday that she is actually sleeping in the next box and not on a roost), and she hangs out with the other hens on the low end of the pecking order.  But she is afraid of the other more aggressive hens and avoids them.  

 

Is there any way for me to figure out if it is her sight or her mental state? 

post #2 of 3
I don't really have an answer for you but wanted to share my experience : I have four hens I bought at a day old, (had 6, one was unable to eat and drink and despite dropper feeding only lasted a week and another was attacked by a racoon or hawk at 5 months old) and one had a twisted beak. The top and bottom don't meet up. This hen also has only one eye. Despite these handicaps, twisty (my kids named her) has always figured out how to eat and drink. She does her best to scratch and peck but usually doesn't get much. She has always been protected by my top of the pecking order hen and pretty much follows her around. My three other hens have now been laying for a few weeks, but twisty is smaller and has not grown any crop or waddles. I figure this is due to not getting as much food as the others. It has always amazed me at how resilient twisty is. I say keep an eye on yours and maybe put her up on the roosting bar at night and see how she does. If she is hard of seeing then maybe she just hasn't found the roost bar yet.
post #3 of 3
Thread Starter 


Aww, hooray for Twisty!  Such valuable life-lessons are learned from keeping chickens. :)  I figured as long as she is getting food and water and has some companionship, she can lead a happy life. I will accommodate her needs the best I can. I watched Speckles a little while ago and noticed that she doesn't scratch to look for food like her sister Pippa does.  Good luck with Twisty. She sounds like she is well loved.

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