Can a blind chicken roost?


Nov 19, 2020
Greetings from Maine. We are raising 8 layers (5 barred rocks and 3 Rhode Island Reds). The girls have just reached 11 weeks and doing great. One of our Rhode Island Reds, named Nuggie, is blind. We noticed this ailment at about three weeks. She initially stayed in the coop and did not leave to free range with the other girls. However, Nuggie has really come around and adapting extremely well. She now races across the backyard to the sound of our voices and fully surrenders herself to be picked up and cared for without protest. Nuggie has also managed to figure out boundaries to free range and find her way back to the coop independently. My new concern is roosting. Nuggie is the only hen not roosting. Winter is quickly approaching in Maine with last night dropping down to 18F (no heat lamp in the coop). The hens, including Nuggie, were lively as ever at sunrise this morning. Should I physically place my blind chicken on the roost at night to snuggle in with the other birds, or let her continue to sleep on the coop floor with shavings? I know there are many health benefits to roosting. Does a blind chicken eventually learn how to roost independently? I also thought of making a roost closer to the floor. Not sure what is the best course of action.
I have a hen blind in one eye. She's a heavy breed, so she's been roosting on a low perch about ten inches high for many years before she went blind. The low perch definitely helps.

It won't work to place your blind hen on the higher perch. She will not be able to get down without hurting herself, and you really don't want her risking trying. The last thing she needs is another disability.

If she has a best buddy, chances are she won't be alone on the low perch. If she doesn't seem to be attracting a roosting partner, you can get a Cozy Coop heater that hangs on the wall and puts out warm radiant heat. She doesn't have to freeze because she's blind and sleeping alone.

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