does a chick with one damaged eye need to be culled?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by vpeterson, Jan 19, 2010.

  1. vpeterson

    vpeterson Chillin' With My Peeps

    I have a nice molted bantam cochin chick (3 weeks) whose eye was pecked and damaged and who now only has one functioning eye. Does it need to be culled or will it grow up to lay eggs or to breed since it came from nice stock? It is not developing as fast as the other chicks and is smaller. It is often by itself. Can a one eyed chicken survive or will it be taken by a preditor? Not sure what to do.
  2. Prettiest Frog

    Prettiest Frog Cooped Up

    Dec 21, 2009
    Depends a lot on your other chickens and your set-up. Back when I only had four chickens in a secure enclosure on my back porch, a one eyed chicken did well, as did one with a broken wing. Now that I have about 40 birds that free-range part time, I'd be a lot more concerned for a disabled bird. The extra competition and increased predator risk may well mean certain doom. But if it's got a secure coop and the other chickens aren't inclined to go pecking at each other, there is a reasonable chance it will get along just fine.
  3. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

    Nov 9, 2007
    SW Arkansas
    Everyone knows my Lil' Bit:


    She's been blind in one eye since hatch or shortly afterwards. She does just fine as part of my free range flock of 14. My roo is extra attentive to her and she has a seeing eye hen, my Lilith who has special needs of her own. If she gets seperated from the flock during the day she hangs out with Lilith and/or heads back to the coop area to wait for the others there.
    As a chick I took Lil' Bit aside for one-on-one feedings. Having one eye meant that she was slower to feed than the others and would get pushed aside if she took too long. The special ones really benefit from that extra care.
    She's one of my most dependable layers. I added a special nestbox on the floor of the coop for her, figuring it would be too hard for her to jump up to the other boxes, but she prefers to jump up to her favorite box. If she waits too long to go into the coop in the evenings and it's gotten too dark she can't see to jump up on a roost. She's learned to wait for me by the door and I put her up on a roost.
    She's my very special girl.
    P.S. She didn't have any tailfeathers in that pic, she had the hardest time hanging onto her tailfeathers. She finally grew some after her 18 month molt. [​IMG]
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2010
  4. chickenwhisperer123

    chickenwhisperer123 Whispers Loudly

    Mar 7, 2009
    Lincoln, Nebraska
    I have a half blind hen too. You wouldnt even know it unless you were right up beside her.....

    If the chicken isnt in pain, it can have a healthy, full life. [​IMG]
  5. vpeterson

    vpeterson Chillin' With My Peeps

    Wow, those are encouraging stories. Needless to say, my little chick will stay awhile longer and escape the chopping block. If their eyes are on the sides of their heads are they able to focus with one eye? I know that she can see but how focused is it?
  6. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

    Nov 9, 2007
    SW Arkansas
    Quote:It will affect her depth perception. She may try to jump on a roost and miss it completely. When Lil' Bit tries to take a treat out of my hand or from the rooster's beak (he beak feeds his hens) she misses 9 times outta 10. I'm used to getting my hand pecked by her and my rooster is very patient and never even flinches when she hits him in the face.
    It is important that you offer your little chicken extra feedings all to herself. It will only take a few minutes out of your day and you'll notice a definite difference in weight gain and growth.
  7. Chicky Tocks

    Chicky Tocks [IMG]emojione/assets/png/2666.png?v=2.2.7[/IMG] Ru

    Oct 20, 2008
    Benton, Arkansas
    I have a one eyed Black Copper Maran. He's my sweetie and is as loveable as a kitten. He walks around and through my legs when I pet him. He's always one of the first on the feed when I put it out. He's young still and I haven't freeranged my BCM's since they've only been out in the run for about a couple of weeks now, but I won't be culling him. He's not quite of age to breed, but I have a backup BCM roo. My one eyed boy will most likely live with the EE's an hopefully produce olive eggers someday. Maybe he'll even be less stress on the girls.
  8. SilverPhoenix

    SilverPhoenix Bantam Fanatic

    Dec 15, 2009
    Penn Valley, CA
    One of my first chickens was a one-eyed red sex link named Farfetch'd! She did just fine and didn't seem disabled at all by her missing eye.

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