How to help my hen adapt to life with one eye


In the Brooder
7 Years
Mar 12, 2012
Saturday was an eventful morning. I got up at 8:00, and all the chickens were doing great in their run. At 8:10, my son went out and gave them fresh water and feed, and collected the eggs. At 8:30, my husband calls me to the back door and says, "Why are those chickens pecking at that red hen's back?" There were feathers everywhere. After the attack by the neighbor's dog the other week, I knew what that meant.

Sure enough, we were missing a White Plymouth Rock, that we found dead in the tree line beyond our property. And that red hen, Clare, was badly injured. She put up a fight. She had a big puncture wound in the middle of her back, her comb was almost detached and she wouldn't open either eye. We immediately isolated her, and got a heat lamp going to keep her warm. When I looked at the wound on her back, intending to clean it out, it was so large and bleeding enough that I really didn't think she was going to make it, and I didn't want to make her suffer. My husband and I discussed putting her down. She spent most of the day with her head under her wing, sleeping.

Well, five days later, she laid an egg for us today. She's up and moving around her crate, making her normal chicken noises. She's eating and drinking well too. Her comb is healing, her back is healing, and she has no infection. But, over the last couple of days, I've realized, Clare has lost her right eye. She has already naturally adapted to turning her left side to us when we talk to her. But, since we're new to chickens, is there anything I need to do for her for the area where her eye used to be to heal/scab over properly? Compared to five days ago, she looks and acts amazing. Little girl has some fight in her, for sure. I just want to make sure that I'm giving her everything she needs to heal up so we can reintroduce her to her flock. She was pretty high in the pecking order, so I'm worried about her getting picked on when she goes back with the others. Any advice from someone who's had a chicken lose an eye?


8 Years
Oct 17, 2011
Palmetto, Fl.
I had a hen with a badly damaged eye, it isn't the same as she recovered and isn't blind. you will have to wait until she shows no sign of injury and watch her carefully. There will be the usual pecking order but they shouldn't focus on her too much. Free ranging may give you a bit of problem as she will be at a disadvantage finding bugs and seeing predators. I would keep a check on her weight and food consumption for a week or 2 after returning her to the flock to make sure she is getting enough to eat and not getting pushed out of the feed. I did have to isolate my hen until she was fully healed so be prepared to keep her apart until then. Hope that helps.

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