Blind chicken - can she manage?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by jahphotogal, Mar 9, 2013.

  1. jahphotogal

    jahphotogal Chillin' With My Peeps

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    As I've posted elsewhere, my 9 month old EE survived a Cooper's Hawk attack, but is blind. The vet thinks she might get her sight back - that it's cerebral swelling that may go down after a few more days - but for now I need to hand feed her.(Not that she has much appetite.)

    I'm assuming I can't put her back with the other girls becaues they'll bully her, but I'm willing to make her a separate coop. But I can't hand feed her for the rest of her life. Can a blind chicken figure out where her food and water is and live a good life? Or should we think about the unthinkable?
     
  2. kellysmall87

    kellysmall87 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Anythings worth a go! If she has a separate coop then maybe she could figure out where the food and water is kept after a while. But you also have to think about how chickens respond to the dark - they dont eat. So maybe she wouldn't even attempt to find her food and water as to her, it's dark. This is a tricky one. Is there another hen who is the bottom of the pecking order who could share her coop with her? Maybe she would stay near to the other hen to find the food or the other hen might make a sound once food is found. Cockerels are very good at finding hens food.. but one cockerel to one hen would over-mate the hen.

    There are LOTS of maybe's there... but If I were you, I would hand feed her until her sight is restored. If it never comes back, then i'd get the vet to put her to sleep (unless you can do it yourself, which I couldn't do personally.)

    Good luck xx
     
  3. jahphotogal

    jahphotogal Chillin' With My Peeps

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    They don't eat in the dark...aha! Maybe that's why it's so hard to hand-feed her - she really doesn't want to take the food from me. But if that's the case she'll surely just starve to death!
     
  4. Iain Utah

    Iain Utah Overrun With Chickens

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    Aww, sorry to hear about your chicken and what a tough girl to survive that! I have a blind goose who couldn't be happier! I keep her in a small yard that has been safety proofed with companions that get along well with her. She has memorized every square inch of yard and most people who observe her could not even tell she is blind. I can even move her food bowl/kiddy pool around (to keep grass from dying out underneath) because she will listen to the sound of water or pouring grain to locate the new location. She is even trained to listen to the sound of treats (watermelon, lettuce) being thrown over fence and she can always find it on the ground. Give it time. It is amazing how adaptable animals can be.
     
  5. Iain Utah

    Iain Utah Overrun With Chickens

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    As for not eating right now..... if she has cerebral brain swelling then she is probably in pain, which will affect her appetite. Also, the shock of the event and being taken away from her companions will also cause her to not want to eat.

    Be patient and have hope. Best of luck!
     
  6. jahphotogal

    jahphotogal Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Well... a week later, she has her appetite back but is still 100% blind. If I direct her head to a pile of food she'll peck at it til she's sated, but she can't find it on her own. Not too optimistic about a happy resolution to this sad tale.
     
  7. pinewyz

    pinewyz New Egg

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    I'm curious as to how your situation worked out. We have a young Cochen who's eyes were pecked yesterday by an older hen. It's too early to say how this will all work out but.......Just wondering if your chick made it.
     
  8. offtheleash

    offtheleash Out Of The Brooder

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    I'm curious too...

    My rooster is probably going to be blind after a trying to save one if my chicks from a rat.

    Any updates???
     
  9. alesiaw

    alesiaw New Egg

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    Hi, read you post about your blind goose and was wondering if you would give me some tips on starting off. I have a silkie that is 6-7 years old and something has happened. She had stopped eating and was so weak she couldn't stand. I am hand feeding her and today she picked up the food by herself. She has a twitch and continually turns her head to the left and there is no pupil constriction to light. So I think she had a stroke or something and is blind. How do I start? With a small pin and continue to enlarge or start with a large? I do have another hen I think I will put with her. Thanks for any help
     
  10. mashwoman

    mashwoman New Egg

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    I, too, have a 2-year old little silkie girl, Iris, with the same symptoms, the neck twitching and sudden blindness. I think that she was bullied by the big hens and somehow hurt. Maybe nerve damage? Right now she is separated and recuperating in the garage. She is doing much better, seems to be able to find her food, and I encourage her to eat with treats, holding them up to her beak (she loves chopped egg mixed with yogurt, or low sodium tuna mixed with yogurt).

    My concern is that she is not finding her water on her own. I offer her water several times a day, but I have not seen her go to the bowl and drink on her own. We will be moving her back outside in another week, into her own run, adjacent with the others. I can't put her back with them after what happened.

    I thought about having a small table top fountain for her water source, that way she can always hear the water to find it, any suggestions?
     

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