Blind chicken....

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by cjeanean, Sep 30, 2008.

  1. cjeanean

    cjeanean Can't Decide

    Mar 5, 2008
    Hubby just discovered that one of the cochins is blind. She wouldn't come out of the coop, ever, and as far as sunbathing goes she would stand next to the door when the sunlight hits right there and just stand there with her wing extended. I thought she was sick, but couldn't figure out why. Her eyes look funny, especially where they should be red, you know, how their eyes are surrounded by red skin. Hers are grey. Anyways, hubby was out there yesterday and compared her eyes to one of her sisters, and sure enough the healthy chick's eyes are dark and clear and the sick one's are cloudy and grey.

    What the heck could cause this? None of the other chickens are like this, just her. I can't figure it out! Could I have screwed up during the brooder stage?

    Also, should I cull? She's such a sweet little chickie, and hubby wants to baby her instead of culling her. I think she can see a little bit, either that or she's been blind from hatching cause she can get around fine. She knows where the food and water are and everything, so she's eating and whatnot.

    Anyways, any suggestion are welcome. Thanks!
  2. verthandi

    verthandi Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 18, 2007
    I doubt you did anything to cause it, things like this just happen. You say she is getting to food and water fine, and is she healthy otherwise? Anyone picking on her? If she is just blind, I wouldn't worry about it if the rest of her seems fine. There's a great thread on here somewhere about Tiny the blind hen. She had her own condo.
  3. mikarod

    mikarod Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 28, 2008
  4. dangerouschicken

    dangerouschicken Will Barter For Coffee

    May 6, 2007
    Columbia Gorge, OR
    Yes, it could be Marek's Disease....

    So sorry [​IMG]
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2008
  5. cjeanean

    cjeanean Can't Decide

    Mar 5, 2008
    I read the info and compared the Marek's eye to the chick's eyes, and they don't look the same. She was vaccinated upon hatching, but the original 20 of my flock *may* not have been. They came from Estes hatchery, and I don't know if Estes vaccinates. Anyways, she's the only other symptoms, she's completely fine. It's seriously like she's a normal chicken except she's blind. I thought Marek's was deadly? She's been like this for a month or two, I just kept bringing her in and giving her vitamins, just yesterday we thought about the blindness thing and looked at her eyes.
  6. mikarod

    mikarod Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 28, 2008
    Did you read the link?

    It's usually deadly because the birds cannot get to food or water. The sagging wing is a symptom of it as well.
  7. cjeanean

    cjeanean Can't Decide

    Mar 5, 2008
    Her wing doesn't sag, she had it stretched out. I've been watching her for droopiness and all that for a while, ever since I noticed that she doesn't leave the coop. Like I said, she's a completely normal chicken except she's blind.

    She is the same size as her sisters, so she's not unable to eat. She eats at night, when all the others are roosting. She scratches at the ground but can't peck very well. She can't see where she's pecking. She is active and has energy, but is cautious because she can't see. Today she ventured out of the coop but wouldn't leave the ramp, we watched her very carefully place her feet to ensure that she wouldn't fall, but she wouldn't walk off the ramp. I think she can see a little, not much, because she puts her face very close to the ground as she walks/pecks. I feel so bad for her!
  8. Jenski

    Jenski Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 17, 2008
    Middle Tennessee
    If you do decide to keep her, she will need a lot more than an evening snack to remain in good health. She will need to be encouraged to eat during the day, and should probably have a private pen or place to eat and drink so she stays nourished and properly hydrated. Even my half-blind girl needs a bit of extra attention to make sure she stays thrifty.

    Good luck!

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