Eye problems in young chicks can be everything from dust getting in it (especially when others are taking a dust bath nearby), to being pecked in the eye by a brooder-mate, to an actual respiratory infection (or either of the first two GETTING infected).
Just as humans' eyes water when they sneeze a lot from allergies, a chicken's eyes are connected to their nose and throat as well.
I have a 6-week old chick having a similar problem right now with both eyes. He eats and drinks just fine - as long as he knows it is there, because he is essentially BLIND right now. ANY LOSS OF APPETITE indicates other possible problems. But thankfully, mine doesn't have that.
In any case, the first step is to CLEAN the eye. Start with an eyedropper of warm water on the eye to loosen up the "gunk". Give it a few minutes, and then use a warm wet wash cloth to try and wipe the gunk away and open the eye. Even if they don't keep it open, make sure it is possible to open it. That way if the chick is hungry or thirsty, they can see food and water long enough to consume it.
Add ACV (Apple Cider Vinegar) to the water to help prevent other infections like Cocci, while you're treating the eye. The dosage is about 1-2 tablespoons per gallon of water.
Next: Buy some Tetracycline or Oxytetracycline from a feed store. Tractor Supply tends to have this in both powder and injection form (sold under the brand name Duramycin). I personally use injections, but if you aren't comfortable with handling a needle and syringe, get the powder - which is simply mixed with drinking water. If you use the injectable form, the dosage is ONLY 1/10th of a cc (or 10 units on a diabetic syringe) regardless of the chicken's size. The powder form is a tablespoon per gallon of water. It WILL turn the water yellow, and you will need to remove all other sources of water from the chickens' habitat. This antibiotic does NOT taste good, and they WILL drink clear water if it's an option. If it's not an option, they'll drink this.
If you are using the injectable form, it can go subcutaneous (under the skin) or intramuscular (into the muscle). The best locations for this are the back of the chick when it has an empty crop for going under the skin, or the thigh for going into muscle. Since the dosage is so small, I almost always use my mom's extra (unused, sterile) diabetic needles to administer this.
While treating it, keep the chick in a brooder with a heat lamp - regardless of it's age and feathering. Just like sick humans need to stay warm, so do sick chickens!
Do this EVERY SINGLE DAY until the chick can open his eye on his own, first thing in the morning (i.e. no gunk appears over night). Then you can release him with the rest of the flock.
What do you think about this?
Edited by DiamondSwan - 3/6/16 at 2:36pm