Chicken pecking at food, but missing????

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Firecracker, Jul 23, 2010.

  1. Firecracker

    Firecracker Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 21, 2009
    Central VA
    I have an 8-week old pullet who was hurt by a dog. We thought we had her all patched up, she is walking well, eating, drinking, roosting with others at night. BUT, now she has started this strange behavior of pecking in the direction of food but not hitting it. She pecks at the air. When I go up to check on her or to shut the chickens up at night, she is laying in the food bowel. She seems to be able to see, follows me, etc. Anyone seen this before??

    [​IMG]
     
  2. Sir Birdaholic

    Sir Birdaholic Night Knight

    I bet she's farsighted. Glasses will cure it. [​IMG] Sorry, couldn't resist.
     
  3. heatherindeskies

    heatherindeskies Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 23, 2010
    SE Minnesota
    my only experience has been with a chicken that had a bad respitory infection that made her eyes watery and 'bubbly'.... after that she had vision loss and would peck at stuff and not get it. I put her food in big bowl so when she did peck, she had a better chance to get some
     
  4. ThePamperedPullet

    ThePamperedPullet Chillin' With My Peeps

    The attack could have left her blind in one eye. If this happens then they loose their depth perception. It takes them a while to figure out where things really are. We have two hens that both lost one eye to different things. They both went through that stage of striking at something but only hitting air. They are both fine now and have adjusted well to the blindness. They are in with our main flock, lay almost every day, and unless you actually see that they are missing an eye you wouldn't know it by their behavior.
     
  5. Firecracker

    Firecracker Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 21, 2009
    Central VA
    [​IMG] Oh, Birdaholic, you are funny.
     
  6. Firecracker

    Firecracker Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 21, 2009
    Central VA
    Hey, PamperedPullet, thanks. That makes sense, but she just started it yesterday, a few days had passed after her getting her back to normal, started happening yesterday.
     
  7. ThePamperedPullet

    ThePamperedPullet Chillin' With My Peeps

    That is not unusual being caused by an injury. Could be a nerve damage issue which would be a possible cause for the time element. Watch her and see that she is eating and drinking. You might have to help her realize where the food and water is until she gets used to the sight problem. But she should be fine in a few days.
     
  8. Firecracker

    Firecracker Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 21, 2009
    Central VA
    Many thanks. [​IMG]
     
  9. khrisilu

    khrisilu Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 23, 2010
    Firecracker, it could be that she is pretending to eat. Often birds who are ill or injured will pretend to feel fine and eat in order to keep the attention of the healthy flock off them. The flock mentality is that no sick birds are to be tolerated. We've seen it with our chickens and parakeets. Hope she gets better.
     
  10. heatherindeskies

    heatherindeskies Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 23, 2010
    SE Minnesota
    Quote:never heard of this before!
     

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