half blind bird i think ;(

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by elandry4, Oct 29, 2014.

  1. elandry4

    elandry4 In the Brooder

    Mar 12, 2014
    We have 6 chickens that we got at a day old on May 1st. They are all laying except for one now. And the one that is not laying I think is half blind. She is getting food and water and will follow the other chickens around but will peck randomly until she finds the food. I call her Nellie and she refuses to sleep up on the roost. She has taken over one of the nesting boxes. I have repeatedly put her up on the roost but she will not do it on her own. And sometimes the morning after I've put her up there she's still up there when all the other girls are out in the pen eating. I look in and she looks all nervous like she can't get down :( She has a thick cloudy spot on one eye so that is why I am thinking she may be part blind.
    Any suggestions? How worried should I be?
    [​IMG]This is Nellie in their temporary pen.

    [​IMG]This is one of her very curios sisters Rosie who would not let me take a picture of any of the other chickens!
  2. azygous

    azygous Free Ranging

    Dec 11, 2009
    Colorado Rockies
    You definitely have a "special needs" hen. It's not really a major problem, and you can set things up in a way to help her function and meet her needs.

    The most important thing you can do is place her food in the EXACT same place all the time, same goes for water. She won't be able to complete for treats, so try to do what I do with an old hen of mine who is half blind, and give her treats apart from the others.

    Sleeping in the nest box isn't a good thing, but she won't be able to handle anything other than a low roosting perch that she can simply step onto. I've made a portable perch out of a two-inch diameter tree branch that I can place anywhere. A chicken tests the perch with their beak before they get onto it, so make it about four inches high and she can handle it.

    If the other eye eventually clouds up, she will still be able to function if you have set things up like I described. Many times, a chicken can have poor to no eye sight and still function well enough that their owners aren't even aware they have a special-needs chicken.
  3. chickiecorin

    chickiecorin In the Brooder

    Jun 18, 2014
    Alvinston, Ontario
    If she is partially blind, she will adapt fine :) i have a polish hen who ot pecked in the eye before we took her in. at her old coop, she hid in the corner with he head stuffed in it. she didnt roost and screamed if anyone touched her. At our coop, the first few days she did the same. Then she started crawling across the floor. I have a small flock (2 birds when i got her, now 7 total) and they free range and are in a large coop with plenty of space... anyway, over time she adjusted, has her favorite places to roost, and even ventures out with her roo and a little hen of he flock. and sh has a ponytail now. she is a whole new chicken, happy and acts just like any of the others. So have no fear if she is limited vision wise, she can have. happy life. Also, having one bad eye gives Henrietta horrid depth perception. she prefers low roosts, but has recently started perching higher. i think shes getting more confident in he ability to get up and down. i would make sure its no an eye infection or something treatable, but shes certainly not going to be bad off :)
  4. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    Can you take closeup clear pic of both her eyes...have someone hold her for you?

    Have you tried isolating her in say a large wire dog crate and put some treats on the floor so you can closely observe her abilities?
    Will she eat out of your hand?
  5. azygous

    azygous Free Ranging

    Dec 11, 2009
    Colorado Rockies
    If she's anything like my half-blind hen, she won't have as much trouble finding a worm on the ground as she does taking it from my hand. Depth perception is severely hampered with just one eye operational. She should have less problem eating from a food dish placed on the ground than trying to eat from a hanging feeder.

    But you should test her and see which works best for her. All the other chickens will adapt to any feeding system you have in place.

    I feed fermented feed in troughs placed on the ground, so my hen has no problem eating. However, she manages to get up onto the higher roosting perch most of the time, but she waits, long after all the others have gone out of the coop, for me to lift her down.

    By the way, her blind eye is a result of a tumor growing over it. She's going on seven years old and has had the tumor for at least half that time.
  6. Thejperez

    Thejperez Songster

    Oct 7, 2014
    I have a blind duck she's just fine. She doesn't have many problems just falling over And help getting In the bath.
    She would be lost with out her friends

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