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Blind... Or 'not all there'?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by katmac555, Feb 26, 2014.

  1. katmac555

    katmac555 In the Brooder

    Feb 24, 2014
    I am totally new to chickens - and my poor polish frizzle has been all ill week since we got her. She now seems on the road to recovery, but after spending a lot of quality time with her feeding her and cuddling, I'm wondering - could she be blind, or maybe mentally not 100%. She takes hours to find her food, can't seem to see walls/objects in her way, and when she does find food, sort of randomly stabs her head around the area and not occasionally gets lucky getting anything in her beak. I've tried raised feed dishes, food on the grounds scattering feed; nothing seems to help. I bought her a new coop today; there's no chance she would survive in with the bigger girls so for now, she's next to them in a small ish coop by herself. She can't find the ramp to get into the bedroom/nest boxes, can't find it to get down to eat. I had to physically place her on the roost perch and she thought her water bowl was a perch and kept falling in. I can see her eyes when her head is up; I thought maybe the feathers didn't help her sight. But surely she'd be able to see food on the ground as her feathers are on top of her head?
    Has anyone else had polish frizzles like this? Could she be blind, or not quite mentally developed, or is this 'normal' frizzle behaviour?

  2. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

    May 3, 2009
    New Jersey
    Is there any possibility that her crest is obscuring her vision? If so, it may help to trim her crest.
  3. realsis

    realsis Crazy for Silkies

    Jan 17, 2013
    I have silkies and I always have to trim their crests or the can't see! I do it about once a month. You can do it in a way that won't ruin the look of the crest yet it enables them to see. To do this simply trim the feathers above the eyes in a way that the eye is no longer obstructed.they usually are very happy after trimming as they can see again! I suggest you give it a try and see if her behavior changes. Hope this helps.
  4. howfunkyisurchicken

    howfunkyisurchicken Crowing

    Apr 11, 2011
    Ditto. Thats typical large crested chicken behavior. She IS blind, blinded by her feathers. The poor things can starve to death from not eating, or develop neurological problems from bumping their heads on things. Give her a trim, you don't need to hack away at the feathers, just cut away the stuff around her eyes. You'll be amazed when she suddenly starts acting like a chicken!
  5. katmac555

    katmac555 In the Brooder

    Feb 24, 2014
    I can see her eyes - and I figure she can still see food, as it's beneath her (she can see down, surely, with the feathers being on top?)
    I've held off trimming as she's not happy with me touching her head; I'm worried I'll cut her or hurt her. Think I'll call in husband to hold her and see if it helps.

    Do chickens not have a very good sense of smell that they can't seem to find food without their vision?

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