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I can't help myself I have to post this.

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by orcasislandchickens, Nov 3, 2008.

  1. orcasislandchickens

    orcasislandchickens Songster

    Jul 9, 2008
    Have you ever noticed in the pirate pictures there is always a parrot on the pirate's shoulder? Have you ever noticed the pirate is also WEARING AN EYPATCH. That is because his pet parrot has pecked out his eyeball.

    Two different posts this week have dealt with owners of much loved, tame and gentle, pet chickens getting pecked in the eye. You don't have to let this happen. Please don't. I used to raise parrots, and because they could be stronger and more agressive than chickens (some can snap a broomstick with their beaks, honest) we were easily, and quickly, taught to keep them out of our faces. But realy the same rules should apply to our tame pet chickens.

    Chickens, like all birds, like to be on the highest perch. There is a bird raising theory that says our pet birds tend to view us as a bird (our heads) perched on a sort of mobile tree (our body). Whether you ascribe to this theory or not it is a useful one for explaining their behaviour. For instance birds tend to give their loved ones a quick sharp peck to move them out of danger fast. This explains why a happy bird sitting cuddled on your shoulder like it has done 100 times before suddenly reaches over and pecks you hard and then flutters off when a stranger walks in the room...why didn't you fly down and run off too? ...There are other reasons and theories for pecking but chickens are curious creatures, and often just plain attracted to our jewelry and eyeballs.

    Loveum up. Let them sit on your laps, hands, or railings beside you. Talk to them, tame them, enjoy their presence, but gently keep them away from your eyes and the eyes of any small children you allow to hold them.

    I am sorry for the long and preachy post, it just realy struck a nerve.

    Thanks for letting me vent, and get this off my chest. I do so love my pet chickens.

  2. geareduplyn

    geareduplyn Songster

    Jun 2, 2008
    Salley SC
    About the same mentality as a beekeeper not wearing a veil.
  3. warren

    warren Songster

    Sep 29, 2007
    That is fascinating. I never thought that my hens might see me as just a head on a tree. Thanks for posting it.

    It also explains why pirates have eye patches. I never thought of it before.
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2008
  4. FarmerDenise

    FarmerDenise Songster

    Apr 21, 2007
    Sonoma County
    I love your opening line. [​IMG]
    And you are correct in the admonishment of keeping birds away from your or anybody else's eyes. I also was pecked in the eye by my tame chicken. She wasn't being mean, just curious and gave me a quick peck in the eye. I wasn't paying attention at the moment and she got me. It was VERY painfull and I think it caused some permanent damage. I now remember to wear some sort of glasses around my chickens or I keep my eyes out of pecking reach!!! [​IMG] I mean [​IMG]
  5. spook

    spook Songster

    I have green eyes, not grass green, but a hazel green with different color flecks..all birds see my eyes as a "trial" bite.
    I actually had a Nanday Conure hold onto my finger to get a foot unstuck from my sweater and chomped it to the bone. Not a fun.
    I like your "rant"! [​IMG]
  6. Chicabee19

    Chicabee19 Songster

    Aug 8, 2008
    This is so true! I do not want to be blinded because of a chicken.

    I got a sharp piece of sand under a contact back in 1986 and rubbed my eye. I didn't think anything of it really, even though it hurt for days.

    I ended up in the hospital.

    My entire eyeball was white and I could not see. The doctor said if I hadn't gone in I would have lost my vision in that eye.

    My daughter rubbed her eye after something suddenly flew into it. It turned out to be a bit of metal embedded in the white of her eye. Doctor said if it had been in the cornea, it would have blinded her.

    The thin, translucent membrane that covers the eyeball (conjunctiva) is pretty tough, but vulnerable to sharp, piercing bits.

    If you pierce the conjunctiva, bacteria can get inside. That is one reason you should not rub your eye if you get something in it! You can introduce bacteria into a slightly-damaged covering that would have recovered on its own. You could embed whatever is in your eye into your eyeball.
  7. AngieChick

    AngieChick Poultry Elitist

    That's funny, I just had this conversation with a friend of mine this morning (she is a new chicken owner). I just told her that chickens are curious and always on the hunt for treats, so her eyes and nose-ring would be tempting. She hadn't even thought of it.

    Thanks for posting the reminder to those that may not know.

    But, I do have to say that the pirate thing is off. My understanding is that they wore an eyepatch to keep one eye at the ready at all times to see in the dark. If it's light out and they needed to go below deck, they could remove their patch and be able see it the dark. And if they are below deck at night if they need to go up in the dark they could again remove the patch. Sorry for the long explanation, one too many episodes of Myth Busters at our house lately [​IMG] 12 year old DS is a bit obsessed (the pirate eye patch theory was on an episode we just watched) .

  8. bkbuz1987

    bkbuz1987 In the Brooder

    Aug 29, 2008
    I lost a gold stud because I was kneeling down and the bugger jumped up and pulled it out of my ear. I tried my best to capture it before she swallowed it, no lucK!

    I've had a close call with my eyes as well. Now I keep them away from my face and my ears![​IMG]
  9. geckomama

    geckomama Songster

    Aug 12, 2008
    NE Oklahoma
    We wear safety glasses! They work great to keep the chooks out of the eyeballs! Also works great for keeping the hay and straw and other bits out of 'em too [​IMG]

    Each kid has their own pair and it is MANDATORY that they be worn at all times when in the shop or coop area.
  10. Home on the Stead

    Home on the Stead In the Brooder

    Oct 20, 2008
    Funny timing.

    Our chicks are about 2-1/2 weeks old, and have just started jumping up on everything in the coop. Yesterday, I was sitting on the feed bin watching them and one jumped up on the nesting box (about head level when I'm sitting) and walked over to me. I leaned towards her to say, "Hi". She leaned in to look at me and pecked straight at my eye!

    Fortunately I jumped back and she was small, so she missed me.

    I wrote it up to an instant lesson. Glad I didn't have to get hurt to learn it.

    The funny thing was, just before she tried it, I flashed on an image of the day-olds pecking at each others eyes...

    So yeah, Thanks! Important safety tip - Chickens will peck at what interests them - including your eyes!

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