Blind and confused hen.

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by everway9, Oct 9, 2011.

  1. everway9

    everway9 Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 9, 2011
    Carlisle, Cumbria, UK
    Hello to all! I hope you are all in good health.

    I'm new here so please be patient with me.

    My girlfriend keeps hens but only has one left now as they are quite old. I have little experience with poultry but do like chickens alot. I think they are funny and friendly.

    Our hen (Jessica) has suddenly gone blind or so it seems. When you put a hand near her face she does not know its there. She seems to be able to hear very well and warbles when we go near her to try to guide her to food and water. She just sits or stands in the same place, maybe a bit disorientated and afraid but I would be if I had suddenly gone blind! She is reluctant to eat or drink but has had a little. Her comb is drooping and is dry and shriveled. She no longer ventures outside her house and if put outside just stays where she is.

    Leading up to this she was and still is moulting. We had two other hens which died quite a while ago after being egg bound so I dont think she would have got any disease from them. There is another much younger hen which lives over the road and they get along just fine. This hen seems to be in excellent health.

    I hope I have provided enough information for some one to be able to help me do the best thing for our lone hen.

    Thanks in advance for your time and help,

    Andrew.
     
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2011
  2. everway9

    everway9 Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 9, 2011
    Carlisle, Cumbria, UK
    P.S. I believe the hen is a common brown hen if thats any help. Thanks:)
     
  3. everway9

    everway9 Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 9, 2011
    Carlisle, Cumbria, UK
    Please!!! Will anyone advise me?

    We are thinking about having it put to sleep.

    Thanks.
     
  4. SilkieBantams

    SilkieBantams Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 23, 2011
    Houston, TX
    I'd keep her inside the home and give her some bread in her beak for her to eat and give her some water with a syringe.
     
  5. stoopid

    stoopid Chicken Fairy Godmother

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    Andrew, where are you located? If she is blind, she can live a good life with some adjustments. She can be a companion chicken to another disabled one. There are a few of us here that try ro rehome these special ones, it's better to have them together than alone.
     
  6. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years. Premium Member

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    Out to pasture
    How old is Jessica? Did she just suddenly go blind or possibly you didn't notice it sooner? What are the newest symptoms? I know you mentioned her comb being dry and shriveled - is that a recent occurence?
    Without knowing how old, it's hard to suggest anything. I am wondering if she had a stroke or something. Blind chickens can do very well if that is the only thing that is really bothering her. Just keep things (water, food etc.) in the same place all the time so she can find them. I don't see that blindness would ruin her appetite. Will she eat foods that you put right near her beak? I think there is some underlying problem and not necessary due to age.
     
  7. everway9

    everway9 Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 9, 2011
    Carlisle, Cumbria, UK
    Thanks silkiebantams & stoopid.

    We live in Cumbria, (Northwest England).

    I really want to be able to care for our Jessica
     
  8. everway9

    everway9 Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 9, 2011
    Carlisle, Cumbria, UK
    Thanks drumstick diva. She is 5 or 6 years old. I think she went blind very quickly (seemed like it happened overnight) we noticed that she was not coming out of her coop very often and when she did was stumbling over things and staying in the same place for a long time. We had her out in the open with us today and she has eaten and had a drink of water. To this date there are no other symptoms.
     
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2011
  9. stoopid

    stoopid Chicken Fairy Godmother

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    OOPS, i guess I won't be coming to get her. She should be fine, as long as you keep everything in the same spot for her.
    Just think like a human being blind.... you wouldn't want the furniture moved around every day! If you have the patience, I'm sure she will have the strength to live. She won't need that big an area, try it. They are very strong.
     
  10. chickflick

    chickflick Overrun With Chickens

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    I also had a hen that went blind. She saw shadows, but would walk into things all the time. She knew where her food and water was, so she did good with that. If you could give her a separate place to be, or even fence her in a small area, she will adjust and do fine. But it sounds like there is more going on that just blindness. You didn't say how old she is. Was she eating ok before you noticed her blindness? Give her a bantam companion if you can. I actually have a bantam coop where my blind chicken would sleep in. During the day, I had her in a fenced area under a tree and the other chickens would sit beside it and keep her company. Good Luck.
     

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