Baby Chick born with really large eyes, is there anything I can do.

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by hellomojo, Mar 21, 2009.

  1. hellomojo

    hellomojo Hatching

    Mar 21, 2009
    Hi, we recently had a broody hen successfully hatch 10 chicks, unfortunately, this is her first attempt at motherhood and she kept abandoning the chicks all over the yard, and suprisingly enough it's been chilly here in Florida the last few days so we have been taking care of the chicks ourselves.

    The strange thing is that one chick was born with both of it's eyes extremely swollen, almost like they are outside of it's skull. Another was born with one very large eye and a regular eye. The one with one big eyes and the regular eye, as well as all the others seem to be fine, picking away and socializing. The one with both large eyes appears to be blind or have very limited sight. I am okay with having a blind chicken, but it seems that it doesn't eat any food. The second day it was born it would chirp and chirp, I figured it might want some water so I led the chick to water and boy did it drink!! But now, It's been 4 or 5 days since birth that the chick refuses to drink when I lead it towards the water, and I never see it pecking. I don't think it's in pain, it doesn't chirp unless another chick bumps into it or someone tries to pick it up.

    Well, I am just worried that it might starve to death. Are these large eyes an inflamation or something I can medicate? If so, with what? Also, any way I can get it to eat. I would try to feed it myself, but I never done it before, and chicks seem to have very finicky esophagi; I have a feeling meddling would only suffocate it.

    Here is a pictures so you can see the eyes for yourself. Sometimes he or she opens them, opens one of them, opens them one after the other, or just keeps them shut. Never seen chicks with eyes like these, (looked all over the internet) any help you can give would be much appreciated.


    Also, I have been watching the chicks socialize very closely and they do not peck at the swollen eyes, the chick usually is in a corner of the box, almost sitting rarely moving, it doesn't lay down like the chicks (They look dead when they sleep [​IMG]). But this one just sits and doesn't socialize with any of the chicks. Should I not keep my hopes up? [​IMG]

  2. patyrdz

    patyrdz The Madd Hatcher

    Feb 26, 2009
    Southern Pines, NC
    Ahhhh he's so cute! I am sorry, but I have no idea about the eyes. Have up stuck his beak in the food or water? Maybe that is what he needs. If he can't see, then he is not learning to peck for food by watching the others, so you will need to "teach" him. I have never seen anything like it![​IMG] [​IMG] Poor baby
  3. Chickenaddict

    Chickenaddict Songster

    May 19, 2008
    East Bethel MN
    You can make a warm moosh out of chick starter and a bit of warm water to get the baby to eat. I'm not sure whats going on with the eyes but it looks like a deformity. The chick may not make it [​IMG] but if you can get it to eat it will have a better chance.
  4. hellomojo

    hellomojo Hatching

    Mar 21, 2009
    Alright guys, thanks very much, I figured something was up because I have never seen anything like that. I went ahead and made a watery mash out of the starter and filled his craw up with a dropper (It was totally empty). I was afraid he/she might choke by force feeding, Boy was that chick stubborn, but at least it has some food. I did stick its beak lightly in the water on the second day it was born and it drank, but I haven't had any success after that. At least the chick has water and food in it. *Fingers Crossed*

    Thanks guys.
  5. cimarron

    cimarron Songster

    Oct 25, 2008
    Central Tejas
    wow that is unusual. never seen anything like it! and you said two with eye deformities in the batch? i guess future broods will tell whether it's a genetic/inherited thing with her....the mother i mean.
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2009
  6. Chickenaddict

    Chickenaddict Songster

    May 19, 2008
    East Bethel MN
    Another thing you may want to try is vitamins and electrolytes in their water. It comes in a powder form at the feed store. I get the "Vital" from fleet farm here. I hope the poor lil one makes it [​IMG]
  7. CTChickenMom

    CTChickenMom Songster

    Jan 5, 2009
    SE Connecticut
    Here is some information I found at

    [​IMG] Infection - Visit vet. Use Potent Brew after any course of antibiotics.

    [​IMG] Foreign body - Unless you are familiar with the practice of washing the eye with appropriate fluids get advice from a vet.

    [​IMG] Stunted - eyes appear prominent

    [​IMG] Congenital deformity with prominent eyes or enlarged

    This article from google books looks like what your chick is deal with.

    Your chick might need some reassurance...if she can't see she doesn't know where she is and just hears lots of noise. Talk softly to her while you feed her and maybe she'll come around.
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2009
  8. greenfamilyfarms

    greenfamilyfarms Big Pippin'

    Feb 27, 2008
    Elizabethtown, NC
    Sorry, can't resist...

    All the better to see you with, my dear!
  9. TimeMist

    TimeMist In the Brooder

    Sep 23, 2008
    New Zealand
    It's certainly going to be a long hard struggle to teach the bird to feed. All the chicks I have had learned from their Mother or from their other chick mates how to feed, and what was good to eat. I hope you will be able to take the chick past force feeding, but I'm not sure what sort of life the chicken will have. I mean if it can't see to peck it's not going to be able to just wander around picking up bugs and grubs is it?

    Hopefully it's a temporary blindness due to compression from head swelling, and maybe it will settle down once the skull grows a bit.

    Good luck.
  10. mypicklebird

    mypicklebird Songster

    Aug 8, 2008
    Sonoma Co, CA
    Likely some sort of genetic or congenital problem. The eyes may actually be too large, or the sockets too small, or there may be something wrong with the brain itself- high pressure or other abnormality causing skull deformity. I would cull and try to prevent the breeding that created 2 of these, as this is not a common incubation problem or any deficiency problem I have heard of- which means it is likely genetic.
    It would not surprise me if the chick is blind with such abnormal looking eyes- and there is virtually no hope for any changes in that state. If it cannot feed itself normally, it will not survive long past when the yolk is used up. He is also going to end up with ulcerated eyes- his lids will be too small and he will run into things. He may also have some pain involved if this is congenital glaucoma- which might be why he is not eating/drinking even when food/water is put in his mouth. Letting this little one go, though he is very cute, would be a kindness I think.

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