Hen won't open eyes

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by redhens, Jan 16, 2012.

  1. redhens

    redhens New Egg

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    Jan 16, 2012
    One of my hens (Production Red, about 1 year old) can't seem to open her eyes more than a slit. I can't see any discharge (from her eye or anywhere else), inflammation, or anything else that seems out of the ordinary. She's all puffed up like she's cold (it's currently 33 degrees) but trying to move about, though she's either not interested or can't figure out how to get food or water without her eyes. I don't see any abnormal looking droppings at this point, but she was in with her sisters overnight so if there were any, they'd be mingled in. I'll keep an eye out and update if I notice anything unusual.

    I tried rinsing off her eye with a bit of water because the eyelid seemed a bit dry, but it hasn't had any noticeable effect yet. Anybody have any other ideas? Unfortunately, we cannot currently afford to take a $5 chicken to the vet, but she's a good layer, so I'd hate to lose her.

    Thanks in advance for any help!
     
  2. redhens

    redhens New Egg

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    Jan 16, 2012
    Okay, an update. Her poop is yellowish orange, about the color of breastfed baby poop, and definitely more liquid than usual but not completely runny.

    She perks up when I shake the food near her, but doesn't try to peck - again, not sure if she really doesn't want it or if she just can't see well enough to try. Dipping her beak in water doesn't seem to encourage her to drink either. She's still all fluffed up like she's cold (weather is now 37 degrees, calm, and sunny), and staying huddled up in a sheltered area by the house.

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    Last edited: Jan 16, 2012
  3. BamaSilkies

    BamaSilkies Chillin' With My Peeps

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  4. BamaSilkies

    BamaSilkies Chillin' With My Peeps

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    You could try to get some sugar water in her for some energy and sugar will make her thirsty and hungry or could take her for food and sugar water to make a mash for her.
     
  5. jjthink

    jjthink Overrun With Chickens

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    You have a VERY sick bird. Immediately if not sooner move her to a comfy warm quiet SAFE spot indoors, preferably with accessibility to sunny spot. Quiet, safe snuggly spot (layered in pine shavings or straw) with all her creature comforts close at hand (wing). She cannot afford to expend energy trying to keep warm.

    I have to go out right now but so that others can help you, after you get her comfy and situated, maybe together with a best feather buddy if she has one, come back and post as much additional detail as you can possibly think of. For example,

    How was she yesterday - do you know?
    When is the last time you saw her eat/drink well?
    Any possibly injuries?
    Last time she laid an egg? (it's winter so it may have been awhile, without that meaning there is a problem in that 'department')
    Do make sure she's hydrated - the sugar water may be a start - dribble it ever so carefully with a dropper along her beak line, so she swallows on her own and doesn't choke.

    You have a very urgent situation so keep posting details and updates so max number of experienced people can see your posts.

    To me, the value of a living feeling being has nothing to do with it's initial cost in a human's dollar system. She feels just dreadful so I hope this can be sorted out and that she can get well. Keep posting and hopefully she will get the help she needs. Depending upon what is wrong with her, she may well require meds to survive. Another resource is Peter Brown, First State Vet Supply - google - he does phone consultations.

    Running very late now so must run..
    JJ
     
  6. redhens

    redhens New Egg

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    Jan 16, 2012
    I didn't notice anything out of the ordinary yesterday morning when I let them out, but my nephew did the afternoon and evening duties and says they weren't around in the afternoon (they have free range of the fenced part of our yard during the day, which is about 1/4 acre, so they're often in a different corner of the yard when we go out to refill food and water) and were already inside and roosting when he locked them up in the evening.

    The last time I personally saw her eat was yesterday morning, but she was hanging around the compost heap like usual with the other two yesterday afternoon and she probably had something then. She also had the opportunity in the evening after my nephew topped off the food.

    Unfortunately, I do not know when she last had water. We don't keep water in the coop with them overnight because it's too small for a real waterer and they just knock cup waterers over, but she had opportunity all day yesterday. Just now, I tried dribbling some down the side of her beak as suggested, but she didn't like that and squirmed too much to have much luck. She may have gotten a few drops, but not any more. I'll keep trying.

    She's #2 of three in the pecking order and it's usually #3 who gets picked on, but I suppose an injury is possible. I can't see any sign of one, though.

    All three of them lay together in a pile of straw in the corner of their coop, so I'm also not sure when she last laid. I've caught #1 on the nest a couple times in the last week, but not #2 or #3.

    Thanks for the tip about Peter Brown!
     
  7. jjthink

    jjthink Overrun With Chickens

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    I'm just getting back and popping in for a minute and see that no one else has posted. ...With BYCers getting using to this new website (just launched the other day), I don't think people are seeing posts as quickly. Not good timing for your girl. She girl needs to be kept warm. I cannot emphasize this enough. Otherwise she may well not last another day.

    Any chance she could have eaten something moldy?

    (As to water, I have long used a heavy ceramic bowl, with broad flat bottom, and it tends to stay upright..).

    JJ
     
  8. redhens

    redhens New Egg

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    Update - she made it through the night pretty much unchanged. Eyes still won't open more than a slit and she's still all puffed up, but I have had better luck getting sugar water down her throat today. About how much and how frequently should I be attempting to get her to drink?
     
  9. jjthink

    jjthink Overrun With Chickens

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    You're going to lose her if you don't take more aggressive action.

    Puffed up means she feels godawful.

    JJ
     
  10. aoxa

    aoxa Overrun With Chickens

    I agree.. If you don't want to lose her, your only bet is to seek medical attention for her.

    I lost a d'uccle to similar circumstances. Her eyes wouldn't open because she was too weak. She died within 24 hours.
     

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