Blind Chicken?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by sophiemom, Aug 16, 2013.

  1. sophiemom

    sophiemom New Egg

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    I bought 2 6 week old amerucanas about a month ago. A couple weeks ago, one of them was acting lethargic and sitting with her eyes closed. I separated her from the rest of the chickens and treated her with tylan powder in her water for 5 days. Now she has her eyes open but she acts like she can't see. When I wave my hand in front of her, she doesn't react and when she walks, she runs into things. My husband said she always seemed a bit "off" ever since we got her and he thinks there has been something wrong with her sight since we got her. Has anyone seen this? Does the eye sight return?
     
  2. chooks4life

    chooks4life Overrun With Chickens

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    It could be neurological damage. That often gives the impression they're blind. How is she eating?
     
  3. sophiemom

    sophiemom New Egg

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    Jun 21, 2013
    She is eating and drinking fine.
     
  4. Mac14

    Mac14 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Now following this thread.
     
  5. chooks4life

    chooks4life Overrun With Chickens

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    Well, if she's eating and drinking fine, she's not blind. At least, she can see for a few inches.

    If she had a severe fever at any point, even one that could have gone unnoticed overnight, she could have damaged nerves and brain. Various viruses and diseases can also do it. Some tapeworm cysts can wind up in the brain as well. You'd think that might kill outright, but I've seen a sheep's brain so raddled with cysts the animal had lost over two thirds of working brain tissue before succumbing.

    With my Isabrown hens, judging from the circumstances, it was a genetically predetermined failure of synthesization or processing or absorbing something vital to normal brain function. I would guess an acute endocrine failure perhaps. Either way it strikes them down at over two years old, within months of each other despite being raised in very different environments on very different diets. Only that breed, at only that age, irrespective of husbandry methods... Genetic is the best bet.

    Mine, when showing neurological damage, first became lethargic like yours, but also paralyzed for months. When trying to feed or drink, they would slam their beaks into the ground, deep into the water, etc, always overshooting or too far off to one side. They'd lost fine motor control. They seemed to mostly recover asides from the signs of residual brain damage, but died abruptly a few months later. This occurred with other people's chickens from the same hatchery of the same breed and age, too. Their animal keeping methods were entirely different to mine.

    Yours may be indicating brain damage with her lack of reacting. She can see, maybe not very far, but perception of light and dark would be most likely present and the blur of your hand moving ought to elicit a response from her, unless she lacks the intelligence to react. For a bird, that'd be extreme brain damage.

    Some other possibilities are those brain afflicting and controlling parasites, which she might have been able to get from a fish or frog, which cause the infected creature to stop responding with fear to the presence of its predator, and even cause the host to approach the predator so the host can be eaten and the parasite can move on into its final host, the predator, from which it will shed its eggs into the water to reinfect the next intermediary hosts, fish.

    Just random ideas, sorry. It's far more likely it is toxicity from eating lead paint, toxic plants, or the likes. Poisoning is very, very common. For all I know she ate a sprayed cockroach or plant. In the average yard there are many potential sources of severe or even fatal brain or organ damage. If her liver was harmed by anything, it would not have cleaned her blood properly for a time, and all liver damage harms the brain to some extent. Either way the harm is done now and she's unlikely to recover, but it's not impossible. Best wishes with that.
     
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2013

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