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Chicken is going blind or has gone blind it seems

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Jackiekim, Oct 9, 2012.

  1. Jackiekim

    Jackiekim Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 1, 2011
    Hi all,
    I noticed last Thursday that one of my chickens (a lovely Blue Laced Red Wyandotte) can't seem to see very well. I was handling out treats and noticed that she seemed very slow. I even thrust a piece of the croissant in front of her and she didn't react to it and even turned down to the ground in search of it. At first I thought she was just slow, then I observed her further and realized one of her eye - her left - has a cloudy film over it. It is as if her lid is closed over it. At first it was only part of the time. It has gotten worse the last few days. Her right eye seems different too - her pupil seems very narrow. Aside from being slower, she seems fine. A bit lost I think. But she is finding and eating food (so far).

    Any suggestions what it might be? I should take pictures of it I suppose. I'm wondering if I should separate her, but I'm concerned that it might distress her further. They are social animals after all. The others look normal still. She is still laying and aside from the eye condition, there is no other symptoms. Is there any recommended home treatment plan?

    I'm considering taking her to the Vet, but I'm not sure vets know much about chickens. And I fear just how much it would cost to bring her to the vet.

    Help!

    Jackie
     
  2. Sjisty

    Sjisty Scribe of Brahmalot

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    Brooksville
    Hi Jackie -

    I have a young Brahma girl who is blind in one eye and doesn't see well in the other. She has been this way from birth, I think. She turns her head to one side and nearly has it touching the ground to see her food. I haven't separated her from the others, although they drive her away when I throw treats out for her. I have a cockerel who has been her constant companion since they hatched, and he protects her from the others. I hold her in my lap every day with a bowl of food or some treats to make sure she gets her fair share. Little Jiffy's blind eye is cloudy. The other eye is clear, but like you said, it doesn't look quite right. Like you said, there's no point in Jiffy's case to take her to the vet - they just don't "do" chickens.

    Good luck with her!
     
  3. Jackiekim

    Jackiekim Out Of The Brooder

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    Hi, I just saw your reply. How is yours doing? Mine is almost completely blind now I think. I was away the last two weeks and coming back yesterday, I notice that the other chickens are shunning her and one even keeps her from getting to food and treats. I'm not sure what I'm going to do about it. I'm going to start a new thread about this: should I have her put down by a vet or butcher so as to not prolong her suffering? She is clearly losing weight. She found weeds to feed on after I separated her from the others - she was free to roam about while the others were in the run. However, she would be defenseless against the neighbor's cats now in this state. Perhaps it is divine retribution - she (we call her Ruby) used to terrorize our Delawares, which are 6 weeks younger. Ruby kept them in such a state. Today, one of the Delawares is the most aggressive one in keeping Ruby from the food.
     
  4. coolcanoechic

    coolcanoechic Chillin' With My Peeps

    It seems I have a bird in the same condition. I would be interested in knowing what it is. I try to hand feed her, but she can't seem to see well enough to take it. She misses and just takes random bites toward the food to see if she can get some.
     
  5. Sjisty

    Sjisty Scribe of Brahmalot

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    Mine also was shunned by most of the others. She had one friend, but everybody kept driving her away from the food. I would bring her in and feed her every day, but she finally died.
     
  6. nok13

    nok13 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dec 8, 2012
    many diseases cause blindness, diseases which are conatgious to other chickens, cant remember what theya re however.

    anyhow, we have one thai hen that is blind from birth, she was hand fed in the beginning be we got her with her flockmates and when we put her in the new coop, we showed her water, and food, and then we realized that she runs with all the hens, and randomly pecks but manages to keep up her weight, lay eggs, and survives quite well. we have sevaral random feeding stations and many water stations, so she sticks close to one or two of the hens or the main roo and when they eat, of course they talk using eating voices so she knows to eat also. when there is a threat, she flies randomly but tends to do it in short hops til she finds something higher up... she is indoors all day (theya er in an indoor regular battery chicken coop converted to a free run basic chicken house) so no real threats. chickens communicate whith eachother so she always knows when there is food, danger, where everyone is, she follows their noises and also sticks to a smaller radius in the coop area, that she seems to know very well, also when she was in my small hen coop she learned very quickly where the water was, where the food was, where the roost was located, it took her a few days to orient but no problems.

    btw, i have a small lhasa dog that is minus one eye and it took him three days to get used to his 'blind corner' and renavigate w/o banging in to things on one side. animals, unlike humans, do not sit around lamenting their handicap. they just get up and adapt or , w/o help from us, some would die. those that are born handicapped either survive or dont. there is no in between.
    i wouldnt slaughter your chicken but would check the disease factor, and as far as feeding, enclose her as a 'private coop chicken with one other hen for a friend, and see what happens, her misery isnt her misery its really yours...
    or rehomne her to someone that has the availability of keeping her as a 'closed indoor type' hen (barring disease problems), domestic animals are surprisingly resilient /
     

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