Going blind or just really spoiled?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by gritsar, Oct 21, 2011.

  1. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

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    I had a dark brahma hen named Lil' Bit that was partially blind from hatch. After a little special care when she was a chick she grew up just fine. The only concessions I made to her blindness was to take her in the coop at night and put her up on a roost; she couldn't see well at all in dim light. She learned to wait for me at the door of the coop each evening. I lost Lil' Bit to a hawk more than a year ago.

    Now one of my other dark brahma hens is showing signs of a vision problem. There are three steps from the pop door of the brahma coop to the ground. This hen, Bella, sorta reaches with her foot before stepping through the door and most of the time stumbles out anyhow. Now just like Lil' Bit she has started waiting for me just outside the coop each evening.

    I think she's going blind. DH says she's just spoiled.

    I know there are other BYCers that have partially blind chickens from hatch. Anyone have a chicken that went blind later on in life? If so, what were your first clues?
     
  2. kuntrygirl

    kuntrygirl Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

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    I knew my 6 year old New Hampshire Red girl was partially blind when I found her in the corner of the chicken coop and wouldn't move about 2 weeks ago. Everyone else was out in the run and she was in the coop facing the corner. I called her name and she looked towards me with the "good" eye. I walked close to her and startled her and she ran into the fence. I picked her up, examined her. Her eye was closed. I opened her eye and I found what I believe to be a cataract. I washed her eyes with saline solution and have been putting terramycin in her eye. She had lost weight because I assume that she couldn't find the feeder to eat. I placed her in her own coop and increased her protein so that she could get her weight back. As of 2 days ago, she is as plump as a peach and her eye looks better and it's wide open but the cataract is still there. I placed her back with her old friends and she did fine but when I got home yesterday, I didn't see her and I looked inside the coop and she was just perching on the edge of the nesting box just as happy as a lark but I know that she didn't have and time in the run to soak up any sun rays on yesterday and she probably didn't eat. I placed her back in another coop so that she could eat.

    I also have a paritially blind and deaf duck and partially blind turkey. I knew that my duck was blind and deaf because the closer I got to him he never moved an inch. As I bent over to touch and talk to him, he still never moved. When I touched him he took off running. I tested him this same way for days and I got the same reaction. He cannot see or hear anything moving close to him. He can only feel you touch him and then he responds by running away.

    I knew that my turkey was blind when I walked up to him on his right side and he never acknowledged that I was there. When I moved to his left side, he moved his head and looked at me. Shortly after, I noticed that he had a cataract.
     
  3. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

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    Quote:Thanks for sharing that. I haven't noticed a cataract, but I will pick her up tonight and check closer. Bella is one of the two largest hens in my brahma flock, well over 8 lbs.; but then again, nothing has changed in her coop so she's probably used to where the feeders are.
     
  4. WoodlandWoman

    WoodlandWoman Overrun With Chickens

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    Do you think it would help if you switched to a ramp, instead of stairs?
     
  5. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

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    Quote:I thought about it, but remembered that she, Bella, sometimes visits the other coop that DOES have a ramp. Still the same habit of reaching out with her foot first. It could be just something about going from the darker coop to the bright sunlight that messes her up, I guess. [​IMG]
     

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