Hen attacked Friday -- now blind (Help!)

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by mateacher, Mar 29, 2009.

  1. mateacher

    mateacher New Egg

    Mar 28, 2009
    I'm hand-feeding one of our hens who was attacked Friday while free-ranging in our yard (we think by a hawk, or other bird of prey). She has been alert and standing, but her eyes are shut tight and after three days is not showing signs of being able to open them. She seems to be recovering from the other wounds (on face and breast), but her eyes are shut. One seems to have movement under the lid, the other does not -- at least that I've observed.

    Question: How long should I do this before I cull? If she is blind, she'll need to be hand-fed for life, including water. I've tried to hold a container under her beak, but she doesn't drink or eat from that. So I've been using a syringe for water (plus vitamins) and liquid food (yogurt, honey, sunflower seed butter, soy milk, and vitamin power), which I've been dripping/squirting at her beak line, and after a few seconds, she'll open her beak and drink up what's dripping on her. I do this every few hours until she shakes her head and avoids the dripping. Is this humane? Should I cull her? If she survives her wounds, would she ever be able to feed herself via our food and water containers in the coop area? Will the other hens peck her?

    We've had our flock for two years and have never had an attack, so this is new. [​IMG]
  2. Cetawin

    Cetawin Chicken Beader

    Mar 20, 2008
    NW Kentucky
    I am sorry about your hen. [​IMG] They can survive and thrive being blind. So a search here using keywords blind chicken or blind hen there are several members who have blind chickens.

    Being blind is not along a reason to cull...it will take time to teach her where her food is and so forth. It will depoend on the other cihckens as to whether she will fit back in with safely. You may have to make some adjustments for her inside the coop.

    Good luck with her.
  3. Imp

    Imp All things share the same breath- Chief Seattle

    First off [​IMG] to BYC mateacher.

    Sorry, but I'm not probably able to help you much, but someone with more experience will surely be along to help. From what I've read here it seems like you should probably continue doing what you are doing, and try to get her into a vet if possible. Several forum members have had chickens with amazingly bad injuries that have fully recovered, so they are some tough birds, including eye and vision problems.
    Good Luck with her.
    We are getting close to evening on the east coast, so if you don't get an answer soon, you may want to ask again in a couple hours when more people are on line. Weekends are usually pretty active.

  4. FarmerDenise

    FarmerDenise Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 21, 2007
    Sonoma County
    Have you put saline solution on her eyes? Use the kind that is intended for use with contact lenses. It could possibly be that her eyelid is "glued" shut. That is what happened to one of my hens. I put some saline solution on her eye with a cotton swab and once it was soaked, I very gently pried her lid open. After that she still kept it shut most of the time, but opened it more and more every day.
    Chickens recover from the most amazing wounds. Don't give up on your hen yet.
    You might also want to check that her other wounds are not infected. If your hen has a nasty smell coming from her, it is a sign that something is infected. Cleaning with saline solution or diluted betadine works well.
  5. Ondra's Seramas

    Ondra's Seramas Drowning in Seramas

    Feb 19, 2009
    North Central WA
    Blind chickens CAN survive. We have a blind hen that will die if we hand feed her. She knows her way around the coop, never gos outside. She finds her food and water by the sounds of other chickens eating and drinking.

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