Blind Baby Chick

ChickieBabyMama

In the Brooder
6 Years
Feb 13, 2013
18
4
26
Mid West
Looking for suggestions on how to raise a blind chick and how to care for them (and for her to care for herself) once they are an adult chicken.

We have a large chicken ranch and I was out there feeding our adult hens and roosters the other day. I could hear a baby chick crying (that squawk they do when they are calling their momma hen). I would periodically pinpoint the area the crying was coming from and I would see this little one, but she would run to where I couldn't reach her. I also figured her momma would be nearby. As the day progressed, it was clear her momma had abandoned her. Soon, the sun was going down, so I went to check on her and found her once again. This time she didn't run away. She was relieved when I held her and wrapped her in my jacket.... and she stopped crying and started sweet little chirps that just melted my heart!

When I picked her up, I realized both of her eyes where covered in dried blood. Oh, poor darling! Well, I couldn't just leave her there to let nature take it's course. I brought her inside to get a better look at her situation. Not good. We believe one eye is no longer and we have hope the other eye will heal in time. We can see an eyeball, but we aren't sure if she is blind in that eye....yet. She is 3 days old. We are not ready to give into culling her although the thought has crossed our minds.

She is in a warm safe place inside, in our brooder, and she is separated from the others. She is perfectly healthy and active otherwise. The problem is, she isn't blindly searching around for food or water. I am dropper feeding her water and moistened medicated chick starter. I am also cleaning the outside of her eyes carefully as needed.

Once she is older and ready to join the others -

My Concerns Are:
* How will she find her water dish & food dish?
* Will she be able to find her way in and out of the Hen House?
* Can she forage around?
* Will the others treat her unkindly?
* What will be her quality of life?

Anyone have experience raising a blind chick into adulthood?

Thank You BYC community!


"Blinky" - had to have some type of sense of humor for this pitiful situation.
Snuggled in a wash rag during feeding time - she's so wiggly!
 

bloonskiller911

Songster
7 Years
Jan 29, 2012
416
19
108
Brookville, Indiana
I have never had any experience with this, although I would think that she would be the lowest ranked hen if she did make it to adulthood. also she wouldn't be able to find anything if she is blind, I think that it would be more kind to humanely dispatch her now than to have her live in misery down the road. this is only my opinion and I know that you will do what is best for your animal.
 

Sheilagh

In the Brooder
Nov 12, 2017
16
3
19
After a few days of TLC, to my delight, the baby opened both eyes and they are fully healed. She can see! She will be fine. Thank you!!!
Something similar has happend with one of my newborns, I thought I might have to put her down, but I will care for her for a few days and hope that like yours she regains her sight!
 

azygous

Enabler
11 Years
Dec 11, 2009
23,427
33,587
1,122
Colorado Rockies
The problem with a blind chicken is that they can never free range. They will not be able to evade a predator.

But if you place food and water in a place they learn they can always find it, they may be able to survive.

I suggest trying to treat this chick with vitamin E in case this is a neurological issue caused by an E deficiency. Squeeze out the oil onto its food each day. Feed some cooked egg with it for the selenium it needs, as well.
 

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