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Polish rooster with vision obscured by head feathers

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 

We have one polish chicken, named Blondie, who is so awkward, and is at the bottom of the pecking order.  We rescued her from death when all the hens were ganging up on her  The back of her head was pecked bare and raw.  We kept Blondie in a separate coop for a while until the wound healed and feathers began growing, during which time Blondie began crowing!

Now that He is out of the coop and running with the other chickens, we see that his vision is really affected by the head feathers.  I have never seen his eyes.  He bumped in the fence while I watched today.  He moves very gawky, and is fearful.  Also he spent most of the day up a tree (a semi-dwarf apple tree).

My question is:  Would it be all right to trim away some feathers, so he can see where he is going?  Would it be painful or dangerous to him to trim these close enough to be effective?

post #2 of 5
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phoebe79 View Post

We have one polish chicken, named Blondie, who is so awkward, and is at the bottom of the pecking order.  We rescued her from death when all the hens were ganging up on her  The back of her head was pecked bare and raw.  We kept Blondie in a separate coop for a while until the wound healed and feathers began growing, during which time Blondie began crowing!
Now that He is out of the coop and running with the other chickens, we see that his vision is really affected by the head feathers.  I have never seen his eyes.  He bumped in the fence while I watched today.  He moves very gawky, and is fearful.  Also he spent most of the day up a tree (a semi-dwarf apple tree).
My question is:  Would it be all right to trim away some feathers, so he can see where he is going?  Would it be painful or dangerous to him to trim these close enough to be effective?

Should you trim the feathers be aware that he might be very fearful until he gets used to being able to see. Consider keeping him confined until he adjusts. I went through this with my silkie hen; it was days before she got over being afraid.
post #3 of 5

Definitely trim him up!  I just trimmed my showgirl's face the other day, as the poor thing couldn't see to grab treats from my hand unless I held them down really low within her line of visibility. I trimmed her head "hair" and her cheek fluff.   She is getting around much better now!  My only caution would be to avoid new feathers coming in, as they will bleed if you cut down too far.  Slow and steady - just wrap him in a towel like a burrito and you'll be able to do it by yourself.  You will have to be firm (but gentle) in holding his head/neck still, but I just hold the scissors along the side to cut, so no accidents if a neck jerk occurs.

 

Edited to add...I even do beak and toenail trimmings on occasions.  Most don't need it done, but there are a few who have to be tended to every couple of months...


Edited by teach1rusl - 12/6/15 at 2:07pm

Caretaker of a lovely mixed flock including: australorp, plymouth rocks, wyandotte, d'uccles, silkies, EEs, andalusian, and a few seramas, plus a golden retriever, great dane, and three cats.  I always swore that I wouldn't succumb to chicken math.  I lied.
 

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Caretaker of a lovely mixed flock including: australorp, plymouth rocks, wyandotte, d'uccles, silkies, EEs, andalusian, and a few seramas, plus a golden retriever, great dane, and three cats.  I always swore that I wouldn't succumb to chicken math.  I lied.
 

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post #4 of 5
Thread Starter 

Thanks, that is reassuring to know!  I think with my husband to hold him, I should be able to trim.  But not the new feathers, if I understand you rightly, to avoid bleeding.

post #5 of 5

Yes, when new feathers starting coming in, they will bleed like the dickens if broken (or cut by scissors)...

Caretaker of a lovely mixed flock including: australorp, plymouth rocks, wyandotte, d'uccles, silkies, EEs, andalusian, and a few seramas, plus a golden retriever, great dane, and three cats.  I always swore that I wouldn't succumb to chicken math.  I lied.
 

Reply

Caretaker of a lovely mixed flock including: australorp, plymouth rocks, wyandotte, d'uccles, silkies, EEs, andalusian, and a few seramas, plus a golden retriever, great dane, and three cats.  I always swore that I wouldn't succumb to chicken math.  I lied.
 

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