Blind chicken, stones for gizzard, dilemma...

Bocktobery 10

10 Years
Oct 8, 2010
Need some advice with this situation as I’m not sure what to do.

I have a blind (mostly blind, I found out he can see some light and objects) serama rooster who is two years old. He does not eat on his own. The way I feed him is that I take regular chicken feed, add warm water to it, let it sit and soak in for awhile until it gets the consistency of a sludgy batter. This is also how he gets his water. I will also blend up some bits of fruit, coconut milk, almond milk, or oats and add this to the mixture for variance and as a treat from time to time. He knows it’s time to eat when I hold him and he finds the container of food in front of him. I feed him little bits throughout the day. Ive got a measured amount I make sure he eats everyday. I’ve managed to keep him alive and in good health this way for more than two years. BUT my concern is this:

He must have an empty gizzard since he’s not outside and even if he were he would not see to pick stones for himself. Also, even if I made grit available to him I highly doubt he would know to eat it just as he ignores food in his cage. He needs me to feed him. I’ve made sure his food was always mostly if a liquid yet somewhat solid state (not watery) so that he would not have a problem digesting it. (Think baby food consistency) My concern is that over time, perhaps this is doing damage? Does he need stones for his gizzard anyway?

What pressured me to finally post about this is that tonight I opened a new bag of chicken feed and I noticed it’s very pulpy instead of a soft sludgy batter consistency when I mixed it with water. I stopped feeding when I thought this could cause a problem. I’ll pick up some new feed- hopefully it was just that bag, but I am wondering if anyone could help me, tell me, educate me on how I could help him in case a problem arises with him not having stones in his gizzard. Should I be worried? If, say, this pulpy feed mucks things up for him, his digestive tract, will it make him seriously sick? And if so, what could I do to heal him? (Like, is there some sort of food that will help him clear up any problems in a digestive tract without gizzard stones?).

Also, do you think I should put small stones in his feed or mouth so that he does get some in his gizzard, or is this dangerous? Could he choke on them? I was thinking about getting chick grit- like for parakeets, or I did hear that chick (chicken) feed can sometimes have tiny sand or grit already in it. I’m just not sure what to do, and if I should do anything regarding this issue. Do you have any advice for me?

He does well and I want to continue giving him what he needs. My family enjoys having him as a house pet so this is not an issue of putting him down, or anything like that. His life is great. He isn’t suffering at all and now that I am accustomed to his needs, he isn’t difficult at all to care for. This is just a question of doing what is best for his situation, namely- this fact he doesn’t eat stones, what’s good for his gizzard, what should I be doing for him there?

I appreciate any replies. I understand this situation is not the norm, but any brainstorming on the issue would help me tremendously.

Thanks in advance for any replies.
As long as you are feeding a premixed ration he shouldn't need grit. You could occasionally sprinkle some parakeet grit on his food. Otherwise some chick grit. I have a 30 year old parrot that has never been given grit. She's fine without it as most of her food doesn't require grinding. If you were feeding hard grains grit is more important. If it's been working for 2 years for you than I wouldn't get too concerned.
Oldhenlikesdogs, thank you so much for your reply! It’s very helpful to know about your parrot. This was exactly what I was hoping to hear. I don’t know how important grit is, and like you said, I had imagined it was only needed if there was something in the diet that needed “chewed” (grass blades, cracked corn, etc). I just was not sure though. I don’t want to be hurting him or find out that eventually he’s developed some medical problem because of something being neglected.

Do you think I should be concerned about this pulpy feed I fed him tonight? It didn’t register as a potential problem until I fed him most of his daily ration. What happens to a bird if they don’t have grit in the gizzard and something tough tries to go through? Could he die? Will he get sick? Or are there symptoms I could look out for? any remedies to help him pass it?

I’ll be watching him, but I’m kind of up late, worried!

Again, many thanks for your help!
I would assume the bird will pass stuff undigested if the body can't digest it. I don't believe stuff would get hung up. Try some parakeet grit when you get a chance. I will confess to not always providing some birds grit when I pen them separately. I actually don't use grit and all my birds find their own. I have an older d'uccle rooster who is mostly blind too. I'm sure he doesn't eat grit as much as he should. If the feed really makes you uncomfortable find a different one. Sounds like the one probably is using a cheaper filler like maybe beet pulp? Check the label.
Yes, I definitely think they used a filler like sawdust or something- at least it felt pulpy like that- very tough. Adding water did little to soften it. It’s not usually like that. I have a feeling the batch didn’t turn out right. It’s been fine all these two years. My regular flock doesn’t seem to mind this new change. I am going to check the label. I also noticed it smelled yeasty and was lighter in color. I have heard a rumor before that this particular brand uses left over pastry products from supermarkets- that seems weird, so I’m not sure if that’s true or not.

I did notice his droppings today were on the dry side. He also crowed a lot last night and this morning. Not certain if any of that us correlated but just something I noticed. He’s fine though. Especially since this new bag of feed was ok. He’s chowing down as usual. I will check out that parakeet grit for him.

Thanks again for your feedback. It helps so much.

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