1.5 yr Silkie hen sudden Blind + yellow poo

Aug 18, 2019
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Hi,
I have a Silkie hen that is 1.5 yrs old that suddenly went blind about a week ago- I noticed she kept bumping into things and falling off things. She is very slow not moving much and pecks the air, missing the food and waterer most of the time peck the air. I have a treadle feeder she seems to know where it is and can stand on the treadle to operate it and does peck around and eats when she gets it in her mouth. She stays in the coop/ roosts most of the day or hiding in a corner. Also she has yellow runny poo - it was just yellow urates and brown but now its more runny and just yellow. I have treated for roundworm with Piperazine a few weeks back but in case its something else I treated with Ivermectin pour on 2 days ago to all my chickens. But still no improvement. Any ideas? Is it possible she got a peck on the head from another chicken that made her blind? Or a disease that causes blindness and yellow poo? All my other chickens seem normal. Thanks! IMG_20200519_144756838_BURST000_COVER_TOP.jpg
 

Lady of McCamley

Free Ranging
10 Years
Mar 19, 2011
7,490
5,535
502
NW Oregon
Yellow poo can be liver failure. It could be histomonosis (a parasitic disease picked up from earth worms and further matured in chicken cecal worms). The yellow poo in histomonosis (or commonly referred to as Black Head in turkeys) causes liver disfunction, thus the yellow poo.

However neither of those explain the blindness.

She could definitely have gotten a peck on the head that caused brain injury if she is in with more aggressive or larger birds. That could cause some major organ shut down.

Or it could be two completely different issues.

Can you get a photo of her eyes? Do they look milky, blue-ish, or have irregular irises? Marek's is common in Silkies and occular Marek's CAN cause blindness. Common Marek's can cause liver shut down.

My thoughts.
LofMc
 
Aug 18, 2019
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Hi, her eyes just look solid black, I can't seem to get a good photo sorry. I have her in my house eating layer mix mash with natural yogurt and dollop of apple sauce and vitamin water. She eats and drink a little. But she's sleeping now head tucked into her wing standing up.
I have treated her with Ivermectin so that should have taken care of parasites and worms if there was any.
All my chickens are Silkies including a broody mumma who can be violent so that may have caused head trauma but I didn't see it happen if it did.
 

Lady of McCamley

Free Ranging
10 Years
Mar 19, 2011
7,490
5,535
502
NW Oregon
Sometimes they simply fail to thrive and we never know why.

Head trauma seems to be quite possible. Silkies, as you know, have a vaulted skull which makes them vulnerable to head injury if pecked hard on the crest.

If it were histomoniasis, Ivermectin wouldn't treat it. It actually needs meds that are Vet Rx only. But that is not a common infection in chickens, much more so in turkeys.

TLC is likely all you can do.
 
Aug 18, 2019
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Well after a few nights and days of TLC she seems to be improving. I still have her in a cage in my house. She eats and drinks on her own and does the preening herself thing. She is a little more active too. She even made an escape when I opened the cage door today! Her poos are brownish colour and more firm then before too.
I guess time will tell if she continues to get better but if she is blind then I can never put her back with the others or she'll get bullied... So I have an idea, could I put her back with the others at night in the coop then have her in her own small area during the day but still so she can talk and see the others. Then she won't get lonely?
 

Lady of McCamley

Free Ranging
10 Years
Mar 19, 2011
7,490
5,535
502
NW Oregon
Glad to hear she is doing better.

I wouldn't put her in at night. The roosting tussle can get quite brutal as birds vie for the best roost spot. It isn't generally a friendly social, snuggling time.

Perhaps consider getting another very timid, small, friend. Chances are in the house with human interaction, she will be mostly fine. Allow her some scratching outdoor time. Maybe she'll find a gentle friend through the fence or draw comfort from hearing the others.

Or she may simply prefer to be alone since she is compromised. Sounds and other birds may frighten her.

My thoughts.
LofMc
 
Aug 18, 2019
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Ok thanks for the suggestions.
Do you know if I have her inside sometimes and outside sometimes will she be ok with the temp change? It's warm inside about 10-18 degrees mostly and outside can be about -1 to 12 sometimes colder. I wouldn't put her out in the rain.
In a couple of days I might try and put a buddy with her outside and see how that goes, while I'm watching. Do you think she may lay again? I'm guessing not.
 

Lady of McCamley

Free Ranging
10 Years
Mar 19, 2011
7,490
5,535
502
NW Oregon
It could be hard on her having too much extreme change in temperature. Just try to keep her in a back room or garage maybe, or her own little coop run outside.

Hopefully you can find a flock mate for her if she seems lonely.

Who knows if she lays again. Maybe
Maybe not.
 
Aug 18, 2019
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Australia
Hi, just to let you know, she died overnight. I had her in our house still on her own. The other chickens are all OK so must not have been contagious so that's good at least.
 

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