3 month old chick with an eye injury/defect! Possible blindness...


10 Years
Aug 28, 2009
So, yesterday I went and picked up 11 chicks/pullets (not sure what to technically call them), 4 of them are 5 months old and them other 7 are 3 months old. I got them home and it was after dark so I didn't cuddle them or anything just put them to bed. This morning I noticed that the smallest 3 month old as a sot of compressed eye socket... looking thing.... on one side. Her (or his) eye is all squinty! She seems to be having trouble finding the food and water... I assume that is why she is so small. She isn't being picked on at all but she can't run without tripping over something or someone... I feel horrible! I hand-fed her and she ate a whole handfull! She also readily drank some water.

When I waved my hand in front of her good eye she was looking around trying to figure out what it was. Then, when I waved my hand by her bad eye she did reletively nothing and then turned her head to see what was going on on the other side of the coop....

I am very worried about her and would appreciate suggestions and feedback if you have had chickens with eye issues.... for example: Did they survive? Did they require additional care? Did they still produce the way they should? and in general anything else you think I should know before embarking on this endeavor....

Many thanks to all helpful and uplifting replies!


P.S. She is a Buff Orpington!
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HPK farms

9 Years
Oct 1, 2010
Southwest of ATL
We bought a small flock of Barred Rock laying hens that came with two roosters who had been in a coop together and so we thought it was fine to leave them together. I noticed after we brought them home that the younger of the roosters stayed on the roost most days and was very tame - even letting us pick him up. After about 3 days I saw the other rooster attacking him so I went in to rescue him and decided to let him free range with our other yard birds. It was only then that I noticed why he was so much tamer than the others...he was completely blind in one eye!
The eye wasn't like you say on your chick's - it looked fine. But he wasn't able to find the food & water either. What I started doing was banging on the side of the food pan and calling him over when I fed him so he was able to find it. I did the same with the water. And I made sure not to move them around so he could remember where they were. He also found a hard time roosting and in the evening would just feel around with his foot and settle onto whatever he could find, so I tried to put him up on the roost just so he had some protection. Since ours was a rooster (over 1 year old) I'm not sure if it would affect her production. But he was our favorite rooster and is even the one in our avatar pic! Hopefully yours will have the same disposition as ours did! Good luck!


Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!
14 Years
Nov 9, 2007
SW Arkansas
I have a hen that is now almost entirely blind. She started out with vision in one eye, but it is fading fast. When she was young, I babied her and made sure she got a chance to get her fill of food each day by taking her aside for one on one feedings. Now that she's an adult all that's necessary (or maybe not necessary, but I still baby her) is for me to put her up on her roost each night. With vision in only one eye, a chickens peripheral vision sucks.
Lil'Bit has done extremely well and is one of my best layers. When free ranging she stays close to my roo. When they were young she used to get left behind by the rest of the flock. They would continue to move while foraging and she wouldn't notice it. At those times, she would head back to the coop yard and wait there for them. It's been a long time since that's happened, since she learned to stick close to my roo.

I also have a completely blind (rescue) cornish X. She manages to find the food and water in the pen. In the afternoons I move her outside to sit in the shade and enjoy the fresh air. She hasn't started laying yet, so I don't know if she will manage the nestboxes or not (they are on the floor), but I don't mind if she can't. I'll just keep an eye out for eggs laid elsewhere in the coop. She appears to be enjoying her life, such as it is, and I refuse to cull a bird for being different.

With a chick, just be sure that they get enough to eat and drink. Take them aside a couple times of day, one-on-one feedings just to be sure, and relax. Chickens have amazing coping skills.


5 Years
Jul 1, 2015
Ivins, Utah 84738
My Coop
My Coop
I have had the same issue with a frizzle pullet I got from a feed store, first one eye seemed shrunken and squinty, then after that one closed up completely, the other eye started doing the same thing, I placed her in a home with my friend who loves broken chickens and she is doing well now that she knows the layout of her pen. I now have a black giant pullet I got from a different feed store that is having the same issue...one eye looks sunken and squinty....

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