Calling all Blind chicken experts!

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by NewToFarming, Jan 19, 2011.

  1. NewToFarming

    NewToFarming Songster

    Apr 28, 2010
    Millersburg, PA
    I am calling on all of you that have experience with caring for blind chickens.
    I have a totally blind silkie that is now probably about 3 ½ months old now. I have been keeping her inside with the chicks and she is doing OK however I was wondering if any of you have successfully had a blind chicken in with a flock. I have had several groups of chicks different ages and all have gotten to know her and do fine with her. The older chcikens I had before she came to me also seem to be fine and not pick on her or anything. Also, the group that she had originally come with seems to take her right back into their group. She actually seems to enjoy being in the coop when I take her out there to be one of the big guys! [​IMG]
    She is very sweet and does not have a mean bone in her. I have never seen her as much as peck at one of the chicks even though they bounce all over her. She loves to snuggle and also likes to hang with me and just snuggle on my shoulder.
    I would like to try to have her be a “normal” chicken as much as she can but has anyone had one within a flock? Or should I just get used to the fact that she will be an indoor chicken forever? I have a flock of different age groups but they do free range.
    Just wondering what would be best, try to have her out with the flock or just have her become accustomed to being an indoor chicken with “outings” with the big guys under supervision.
    Do you have any suggestions on what has or has not worked for you?
    I don’t believe now would be a good time because of the cold and when I did have her in the coop, she knocked the waterer over and got some on her. So, I would think I would have to wait until it warms up a bit to even give it a try outside.
    Also, if I should just keep her inside, I know sometimes a buddy is good to have with them BUT, is it really fair to the buddy to not be out and about with the other chickens???
    Sorry, for all the questions, just trying to figure out the best way to care for her.


  2. terrilhb

    terrilhb Songster

    Dec 11, 2010
    Sorry I don't know the answer to the question just want to say good job. Good luck.[​IMG]
  3. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

    Nov 9, 2007
    SW Arkansas
    My Lil'Bit was partially blind. She lived with her flock from the time she was hatched. She did fine as part of a free range flock, but unfortunately her blindness ultimately cost her her life. She was taken by a hawk a couple of months ago. All the other birds managed to make it to cover in time.
  4. NewToFarming

    NewToFarming Songster

    Apr 28, 2010
    Millersburg, PA
    Quote:Thank you!! [​IMG]

    Quote:I am so sorry for your loss! I know they do tend to become one of your special chickens very quickly!

    I have been extremely fortunate with predators so far but I do know there can and most likely will be a first time for that. I guess the biggest thing I worry about is that she will walk and not know how to get back to the coop??? There is alot of field & woods for her to wander in if she goes far enough.

    I have 2 youngsters that really do seem to stick with her though. These are 8 week olds, a little roo leghorn/silkie mix & a silkie unknown. But each time I had seen "Honey" at the feeder, these two were right with her. Not sure if they were helping her or just hanging out with her???
  5. gmendoza

    gmendoza Songster

    Mar 23, 2010
    Rock Hill,SC
    I have a partially blind American Grey game hen named Caluah. She can see some stuff up close,but she is still doing good.She and the rest of the flock are in their new coop/run indefinatly.

    She got blind when we had that horrible heat spell last year in the south. [​IMG]
  6. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    I have only hatched one completely blind chick here, a blue Orpington, and we euthanized it right out of the incubator. I have a black EE hen who has some deficiency in her sight. She can't pick up a grain of anything from the ground, but she can eat out of a pile of feed and see us coming since we are so tall. If she had been completely blind, we would have euthanized her, though. She manages to get her fair share of feed and is surviving quite nicely in the flock now. I already have a crippled adult bird, my Zane, who lost the use of one leg when he was about 19 weeks old, and just can't take on another handicapped bird.

    There are obvious issues for a blind bird, of course. They can't see danger, may get stuck in hidden places, etc. It's quite an undertaking to care for a handicapped chicken.
  7. lilchick

    lilchick Songster

    May 23, 2008
    Williamsport In.
    I have a small flock of giant cochins. One hen gradually went blind probably due to old age. She does fine with the other chickens in her flock. She can find the feed and water as long as it is kept in same place. She also goes just outside the barn doorway and lays in sun. I have a secure pen so she cannot wander off.

    Have you considered having a small pen say a kennel pen and a secure warm dog house for her and a companion chicken?
    I have a flock that I call the "socially challenged" and keep them that way. They have quality of life and I do not have to worry about them.

  8. TheSpiceGirls

    TheSpiceGirls Crowing

    Oct 6, 2010
    Bay Area, CA
    I have an EE who doesn't see well. Not sure how well. I noticed this when hand feeding the girls noodles, she would peck my fingers 4-5 times for every one time she'd hit the noodle. The other girls were spot on every time. If I drop a noodle into their light yellow treat bowl, the other girls will retrieve it and run off to eat it. She'll watch me drop it, look into the bowl and then go back to crying and begging for a noodle.

    She's definitely slower than the others and misses out on most of the live treats like crickets and meal worms. She'll take a while to get one and then takes a while to eat it. When she comes back for more, they are all gone.

    But she knows where the food and water are and stays close to her sisters in their preditor protected run. So I'm hopful that she'll live a long and happy life.

    If she can find the food and water and doesn't get picked on, I don't see why she wouldn't be okay out with her buddies.
  9. NewToFarming

    NewToFarming Songster

    Apr 28, 2010
    Millersburg, PA
    I had gotten Honey when she was about 8 weeks old. Her previous owner did not know she was blind. Apparently she adapted to her original home but had issues when she arrived at my place because everything was different. By the time I figured this out, she was very weakened form lack of food & water because she couldn't find it. She already had that very sweet personality and I could only try to help her because of that. I got her up and going strong again. Yes, it is alot of work. I still supplement her with moistened chick feed w/ vitamins. She does find the feeders now but seems to get "lost" and I don't think she is getting enough. So, I am still hand feeding her 2-3 times a day.
    I always say, things happen for a reason and it was very unexpected how this group of silkies had come to my home. So, I think it was meant to be, for whatever reason, so I will give it a try to do what I can for her. [​IMG]
  10. NewToFarming

    NewToFarming Songster

    Apr 28, 2010
    Millersburg, PA
    Quote:Do have this inside the coop? I have a really huge converted stall to coop in the barn. I could make like a little separate area for her in there, I guess???? It would have to be something that the others don't sit on and poop on her though! [​IMG] LOL

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