barred rock hen has trouble seeing food (see video)


May 31, 2016
Southern California
Hey Everyone!
Is my young hen crossed eyed or part blind? She seems to have a problem with depth perception...

One of my 21 week old Barred Rock chickens, Sweetsie, is having a heck of a time. I've had her for about 11 weeks. Over the past few days, I'v noticed that when she tries to eat something other than from the hanging feeder, that she keeps missing the food. She bends down and turns her head sideways and pecks at it, usually missing the target. Other times if I'm hand feeding her, she tries biting at it and misses it by over an inch.

She is much smaller than my other 3 barred rock chickens that I got at the same time. She hasn't developed a comb or wattle yet.
(My other barred rock has just started laying this week, and I think the third one is a roo!

She's been drinking water fine. The other chickens don't peck on her, but they are bigger so they get to the food faster. She just seems so little. I'm thinking I need to quarantine her and try to get her to eat more without the competition from the others?
Any thoughts on what's going on and what I might do to help her?


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She could have a problem with just one eye, or with both. Pecking injuries are common, and some causes of blindness are infections, high ammonia levels from droppings in coop, cataracts, avian encephalomyelitis (AE,) Mareks disease, and vitamin A or E deficiency. It would be a good idea to save her a portion of treats or some chopped egg, and let her eat by herself by picking her up or placing her in a cage for a few minutes. Do both eyes look the same, or is there a color difference or any cloudiness of the pupil?
Appears to be blind in left eye, and may be having problems seeing out of her right eye. Probably small because she is not getting enough to eat. Why that is, I don't have a clue. I'll leave that to those who know.
Thanks for the replies. Yesterday I took her aside to give her a chance to eat without competition from the others. She did okay, but she didn't see to have a huge appetite.

Today I went out to check on her and noticed that her right eye is shut. She seems sleepy and slow. She's still drinking a lot of water, but wasn't interested in treats. I'm trying to stay hopeful, but things aren't looking good for the little gal.
If you have some Terramycin or Erythromycin eye ointment, or just plain Neosporin, Bacitracin, or Triple Antibiotic ointment, put a tiny 1/8 inch dab in her eye twice a day. Chicken vitamins in her water would also be a good idea. Was she vaccinated for Mareks disease? Hopefully it is not that, but here is some reading about the 4 kinds of Mareks:

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