5-6 year old Polish hen going blind? Pupils gray

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by myfester, Sep 23, 2011.

  1. myfester

    myfester Chillin' With My Peeps

    109
    0
    111
    Dec 8, 2009
    Oxford, PA
    I bought an older Polish hen about 5-6 months ago (I've always wanted a Polish, but couldn't locate hens near my area). Anyway, her age is unknown...maybe 5 or 6 years old. She was laying eggs every 2-3 days, but I noticed in the first few weeks of having her that she was pretty darn clumsy. I looked at her eyes and noticed the pupils had a gray hue to them and pin points of white in the center of it. It seems to be getting progressively worse and I worry now about Mareks after reading about it. This leads to an additional question.

    Observations of my hen:
    1) gray pupils with a pinpoint of white in the center
    2) not very active, possibly due to having difficulty seeing
    3) always has a bald spot the size of a quarter on her head which constantly gets ingrown feathers (previous owner said she had it for years, thought maybe rooster was pulling feather out)
    4) she recently did produce fertile eggs...babies are about 6 weeks old and healthy, but I haven't vaccinated them for Mareks yet and they chicks have been around her since birth (I let one of my broody Buff Orpingtons sit, hatch, and raise them.)

    Question: Should I be concerned? Or does this sort of thing happen to Polish hens due to the feathers against the eyes?

    Question 2: Can I still vaccinate the 6 week old chicks for Mareks?

    I appreciate your help.
     
  2. dawg53

    dawg53 Humble

    23,342
    1,217
    448
    Nov 27, 2008
    Jacksonville, Florida
    Could be ocular marek's but I think there would be other symptoms as well. Eyeworm can cause blindness. Birds will scratch the eye area if there's eyeworm. Here's a pic of what ocular marek's look like, and a pic of eyeworm...one is above the persons thumb and another is in the lower right tearduct, they are very thin and white in color:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2011
  3. myfester

    myfester Chillin' With My Peeps

    109
    0
    111
    Dec 8, 2009
    Oxford, PA
    Thank you for posting. Thankfully, it looks like neither. I did find online a photo of chicken cataracts, which does look like her eyes. It's just so odd that she has them in both eyes and it seems to be pretty progressive. Unfortunately, no chicken vets anywhere near where I live [​IMG].
     
  4. dawg53

    dawg53 Humble

    23,342
    1,217
    448
    Nov 27, 2008
    Jacksonville, Florida
    Quote:I'm glad it was neither as well, especially marek's. It might be old age or a genetic issue.
     
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2011
  5. RLipinski10

    RLipinski10 Out Of The Brooder

    33
    0
    22
    Dec 8, 2011
    Northern Michigan
    I have the same problem with one of my hens. She's only 5 months old. Number 1 and 2 sound exactly like hers. No bald spots and she hasn't laid any eggs yet. One of her hatchmates is also blind out of just one eye. So I'm wondering if in my case it was genetic?
     
  6. Gofygure

    Gofygure Chillin' With My Peeps

    221
    14
    103
    Mar 4, 2012
    Pennsylvania
    My Coop
    Five months or so is about the time for Marek's Disease to manifest. I'd suggest getting them tested.
     
  7. RLipinski10

    RLipinski10 Out Of The Brooder

    33
    0
    22
    Dec 8, 2011
    Northern Michigan

    There's a total of 6 hatchmates and the other 4 are fine. Would they all have it? And how would I go about finding out if that's what the other two have? Is a vet my only option?
     
  8. myfester

    myfester Chillin' With My Peeps

    109
    0
    111
    Dec 8, 2009
    Oxford, PA
    I don't know if it's genetic. She has had some babies that are over a year old now, and they aren't showing any signs of blindness. Over the past 6 months, her eyes have clouded over even more. Her pupils are almost completely light gray. She seems to be able to see out of a small part of her eye and her aim for the food is WAY off. Pretty pitiful. She does come to you at the sound of your voice. :)
     
  9. FriendFarm

    FriendFarm Out Of The Brooder

    14
    0
    22
    Aug 17, 2012
    Quote: I'm having the exact same problem with my chickens, but they are 6 months old and laying. They were vaccinated for marks disease, and I have no clue what's going on with them.
     
  10. myfester

    myfester Chillin' With My Peeps

    109
    0
    111
    Dec 8, 2009
    Oxford, PA
    What breed are your girls? My girl is polish and also has another genetic anomaly...SHE has spurs like a rooster. That's why the breeder was willing to part with her, because she could pass that on to her offspring...however they are normal..so far. So, I'm wondering if the blindness and spurs are due to overbreeding or something.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by