Blind rooster

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by stonemeadowgirl, May 25, 2019.

  1. stonemeadowgirl

    stonemeadowgirl Chirping

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    Apr 26, 2010
    Our beloved Moondoggie, who is 8 years old, suddenly went blind.
    We took him to an avian vet who wasn't sure of the cause, but put him on oral antibiotics and eye drops.
    The vet said give it ten days. It's been five days with no change.
    I've been holding the food and water for Moondoggie to eat, but the last two days he hasn't eaten that I've seen. Cannot feel much in his crop.
    He continues to let out a good cock-a-doodle-do, though.

    My dilemma is: if he stays blind, will he be able to eat on his own?

    I'm wondering if his lack of eating and drinking for the past two days is the infection (or whatever is going on) getting worse?
    How long can a chicken go without food/water?
    He's such a fantastic rooster, we hate to loose him.
    We want to give him every chance to recover, but I don't want him to suffer.
    Thanks guys
     
  2. coach723

    coach723 Crowing

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    If it is simply blindness then many birds do adapt with time. There may be another health issue going on that is less apparent, which may or may not be treatable. I would provide him supportive care, hand feed or tube feed if necessary to keep his strength up and keep him hydrated, as long as his crop is emptying after feedings, then he's digesting. If digestion backs up, then you have something else going on. I would keep him in a small area, even a crate for now, so he can get comfortable knowing where things are. Keep food and water in the same place always, so he learns where it is, it will take time. If there is a gentle companion that he can be with that won't hurt him, put them with him, but monitor. A sick bird can be subjected to attacks. If you can crate him within the run with the flock he will be protected but will still be able to hear them, that may reduce his stress and he may be happier. You will need to weigh him regularly to monitor and make sure he's taking in enough food. You can search for threads on 'blind chicken' and find more input. Some birds have done very well, but it's case by case obviously. Hopefully your vet will be able to narrow down the cause.
     
    Eggcessive likes this.
  3. stonemeadowgirl

    stonemeadowgirl Chirping

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    Apr 26, 2010
    Thank you the reply.
    I am doing most of what you suggested.
    I have had a blind chicken before and she did well for several years.
    She roamed and scratched and acted normal.
    Moondoggie is lethargic. He crows and preens, but just sits/stands in one place. So, I guess this is more than just lack of vision.
    Sad because he is the best rooster.
     
  4. henaynei

    henaynei Songster

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    Ashe County, NC
    My Silkie rooster wandered too close to my neighbors dog last winter.
    The lab had the rooster about half way down his throat when my neighbor extracted him.
    Put in a hospital cage it was one over a week before he started to move around and another before he crowed.
    It wasn’t until we put him back out with the flock that we discovered he was blind. He was getting beaten up and was moved to a coop with my broody Silkie hen.
    It is a very small coop and run but he has never become confident in it. I still have to catch him about half the time to put him in the coop. He is found crouching terrified in a corner like he got stuck.
    He eats and crows and wanders the coop during the day and is never picked on but I’ve never seen him try to breed the hen or dance for her. He follows her for food location rather than the other way.
    I’ve gone back and forth on whether to send him to freezer camp or not as I doubt he’ll ever breed and will always have to live in a small confined area.
    I’ve named him Ray Charles, he’s a black Silkie.
     
    Unicornlife3316 likes this.
  5. stonemeadowgirl

    stonemeadowgirl Chirping

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    Apr 26, 2010
    The medications did not help recover the rooster's eye sight.
    He seems perkier, but doesn't move around much which is understandable.
    We keep him in a little portable playpen during the day.
    I have to make sure he takes drinks.
    We scatter crumbles all over the grass in the pen.
    Take him out of the coop in the morning, put him in at night.
    I just wonder what kind of quality of life it is for him.
     
  6. coach723

    coach723 Crowing

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    Are you monitoring his weight to make sure he's getting enough to eat? I would use a digital kitchen scale to make sure he is. You may have to hand feed him for a while until he learns how to find his feed himself. I would put an open dish of feed that he can't dump in the exact same place all the time so he can get used to where it is. I have a galvanized rabbit feeding dish that hooks to a crate or wire so it won't dump, you could also use one of the dog bowls that screws onto a wire crate. The same thing for water would probably be easier for him. Once he's doing well you can work on transitioning to something else, slowly. It's a huge adjustment for a bird that can't see, and will take time. He feels very vulnerable and can't see what's coming. Terrifying for a prey animal.
    Only you can decide if his quality of life is acceptable or not, I know that there are strong arguments either way. You have to do what you think is best and fair for him.
     
    Kathy Golla likes this.
  7. stonemeadowgirl

    stonemeadowgirl Chirping

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    Apr 26, 2010
    I am monitoring his weight.
    He is attempting to feed himself.
    Water and food are in the same locations, but he hasn't completely caught on to that. So, I show him.
    Not much of a life.
     
  8. coach723

    coach723 Crowing

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    If you have a gentle, laid back hen, you might try putting her in with him. Might perk him up a bit to have some company that he can hear, smell and touch. Just make sure she won't hurt him. Some birds don't do well with being alone and isolated, so the company might help him want to live and encourage him to try.
     
  9. stonemeadowgirl

    stonemeadowgirl Chirping

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    Apr 26, 2010
    We have just two old hens that he lives with.
    They keep him company.
     

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