hatchery chick without eyes


12 Years
Feb 21, 2008
We happily received our chicks this morn, all (75) appear healthy and are very lively. The only problem one does not have eyes. Now what to do, my 13 yo son is firmly against putting this one down, not that I could do the deed either. The little guy is eating and drinking. The question do I isolate him and hand feed or leave him with the others. I don't mind to hand feed this one but I feel it may be unfair to him to live life of blind chicken, if that's at all possible. Ok has anyone had this experience or any suggestions?
Our chicks came from MM, I have to say dispite the little blind guy, I'm very happy this morn with my chicks, they got here on time and everyone was alive . They're all drinking and eating and running around, no droopy chicks.


Premium Feather Member
12 Years
May 7, 2007
Forks, Virginia
As they age the other chickens will know something is wrong with it. They will pick on it and maybe eventually they will carry out natures way of culling the weak. You will most likely have to keep it separated in its own little coop and feed it with a consistant routine. Which is sad really because they are flock animals and need companionship from other chickens. You'll have to make sure not to change anything in its habitat or it will be disoriented and confused which could affect its general well being. To be very honest i don't keep chickens as pets and I would be inclined to cull it. Good luck with your chicks.


12 Years
Jun 4, 2007
Western MA
Because silkies are known to be so sweet, people have suggested housing them with a silkie for companionship. I personally would get a pair of silkie chicks and raise them with that chick is a seperate pen that is set up to allow the 'special' chick easier mobility to get to all it needs as well as just a safe environment. Another option would be to spend a few bucks at the vet and put it down humanely to make it easier for you and your child. Sorry you were put in this position


In the Brooder
11 Years
Feb 23, 2008
South Western PA
If it were me I would cull it. Simply because I look at quality of life. I can't stand to see them suffer. It will more than likely be lonely even if you do find it a companion. And just about all animals will pick on the one that is different.

I find it a little odd that they check the vents to sex the chicks but didn't notice that the poor little thing didn't have eyes.


12 Years
Aug 13, 2007
near Charlotte NC
I find it a little odd that they check the vents to sex the chicks but didn't notice that the poor little thing didn't have eyes.

The eyes and vent are on opposite sides of the chick...

Seriously, though - have you ever seen a show like 'dirty jobs' or 'how it's made' where they show them vent sexing the chicks? They don't even glance at the head at all - it's VERY quick - a second MAYBE per check. I believe they get paid by the chick, so they aren't really worried about the head end...

Oh, and as long as the chick is eating and drinking, I couldn't cull either. I have culled a chick in the past, but only because it had severe leg problems and couldn't get around much at all.

Watch the other chicks closely, though, to watch for picking. I had more of an issue with the other chicks jostling around so much as to keep the invalid from getting enough food, though, rather than too much actual pecking.

If you want to try to nurture this guy alone, then I'd recommend putting him/her in a brooder with only one or two other chicks to help reduce the jostling at the feeders. Also, try a long feeder rather than a mason jar type to give lots of feeding holes.

Good luck and keep us posted. If you do a search for 'blind and tiny' you'll find SouthernChick's stories about her blind chick she raised up. She keeps her in a separate coop and I believe has a companion in with her also.​
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11 Years
Mar 23, 2008
Shreveport, La
I don't think I could cull the chick either, but it will be a lot of individual work to raise it. That could be a very rewarding experience, if you have that kind of time to commit. I know it is a tough decision, I pray you find a peace to make the right choice for you and your family. Not everyone can make a long term commitment like that to one chick. Sorry you are having to deal with such a difficult choice.



There is no "I" in Ameraucana
Jan 18, 2008
Newman Lake, WA
I had one hatch like that about four years ago. I gave it to my vet.

I also had a little mille fleur d uccle hatch yesterday with his intestines hanging out.

I think birth defects are common, just take a minute to think how many chicks we hatch to the number of defects. I bet it is lower than human numbers.

Sorry you are having a difficult time with this.


13 Years
Jan 11, 2007
I would consider getting some one else to put it down.

Unless you can afford the time and money to to make life long special arangements & care
It would not be fair to the little guy.

I had a baby duck once that my vet put to sleep for 15.00
And I had a old neigbhor guy that put a guinnapig out of her missery because it was the weekend
and I could find no open vets to put her down.


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