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Chick with Bruised Eye

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 

I've searched around and saw a few mentions of other chickens that have had a bruised eye, but in those cases, they were talking about older chickens and any number of diseases so I don't really know which direction to go.


I recently (2 to 3 weeks ago) picked up 5 chicks at Orschelns; 2 Barred Rock pullets, 2 New Hampshire Red pullets, and 1 Buff Orpington pullet.  The buff has always been a little bigger than the other 4 and it seems to be the one trying to be top dog in the pecking order.  It'll charge the others, stand taller than them, etc.  She's essentially a bully, but butter in my hands when I hold her.  Two days ago, I noticed her eye looked bruised.  I don't know if this has to do with her losing her chick fluff around her face and getting adult feathers or if this is something with which I need to be more concerned.  I've been feeding them 18% medicated chick starter, keeping their living quarters clean, and well watered and fed.  One other thing I did do that may have been too soon was treating them with meal worms.  All of the chicks had some, but she's the only one with this "bruised" eye.


She hasn't been acting differently, still eating and drinking with the other chicks.


Is it possible that there was a rebellion by the other 4 and they had a school yard beat down?  I initially thought it was maybe blood on her feathers around her eye but have since decided that wasn't it as I couldn't see any type of wound.  I've understood that chickens like to peck at blood or red things. (not sure if there is truth to that)


Anyway, I've attached a picture.  It's a little blurry as I had a hard time getting her to hold perfectly still, but I would appreciate some input on what others who may be more experienced might think this is.



Thank you for any help you may offer,


post #2 of 4

Welcome to BYC.

It does look like a little blood on the fluff around her head.

So it could be a pecking injury or she could have ran into something in the brooder - chicks can get themselves into some strange situations sometimes.

Is she scratching at it at all?

You may want to see if you can gently remove what is in the fluff so other chicks don't pick/peck at it. A warm wet paper towel (compress) may help with that.

I would keep watch on it, if you start seeing any pus  or  discharge from the eye you will need to flush it out, then you can apply some Vetericyn eye gel or Terramycin eye ointment to the eye.

Mealworms won't hurt as long as you have also offered some type of grit. IMO it is always best to have grit available anytime you offer anything else besides chick starter.

Otherwise as long as she is eating, drinking and pooping well you may want to leave her be, just observe and see if there is any fighting (blood being drawn).

Hopefully the bruise will resolve itself in a day or two.

Let us know how she does.

post #3 of 4
Thread Starter 

It's been a few days now and the bruise has improved substantially.  I can only assume that she hit her face on something or another chick pecked her in just the right spot.


To answer your questions, they've all scratched their faces a little, and I can't say I saw her doing it more than any of the others.  Also, I never saw any kind of pus or discharge from the eye.  Seems to be just one of those things that can happen.


Thank you, Wyorp Rock, for your response.  It put me at ease that it was just chickens being chickens and if it had been more, you provided some options.


Thanks again,


post #4 of 4

Glad to hear she is doing well:)

Very possible it was a peck or a bruise. Good news no discharge, etc.

Wishing you well!

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