I think she is blind?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by cabela, Jul 1, 2010.

  1. cabela

    cabela Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 16, 2010
    Is it common for hens to be blind? We are pretty sure our 8wk old hen is totally blind, you can flick your hand in front of her face and she won't even move. She is very friendly, we raised her since a week old and she always liked to be held and still does. She can find her way in and out of the henhouse, eat, drink, etd. She doesn't really try to search the greens or treats I put in the run, she just stands in the food to eat. Being new to this I was just curious if this is a common problem? The 4 others don't pick on her so I am glad for that too. I would love to find a treat she would try, when I put bread or anything in front of her she shakes her head at it because she is not sure what it is, any suggestion? Thank you:rolleyes:
  2. Yvonne37894

    Yvonne37894 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 13, 2009
    Live Oak, FL
    I don't think it is common, but it does happen.
    A friend has a blind silkie hen that has raised babies and gets along fine.
    She keeps the water and feed always in the same spot.
  3. Kedreeva

    Kedreeva Longfeather Lane

    Jun 10, 2010
    I feel like I've seen a lot of 'blind' chicken/duck/goose/other poulty posts on BYC. Usually it seems like it's an incubation issue (like born with no eyes, or scars on eyes) but sometimes it can be genetic (born with milky eyes). I'm not sure 'common' would be the word, but it's certainly not the rarest of problems heard.
  4. crystalchik

    crystalchik Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 15, 2008
    Central Florida
    No its not terribly common, but its definitely not unheard of. Many people will cull a blind chick. [​IMG] I have a line of chickens where it seems that at least 1 or 2 out of 20 come out blind with what looks like clouding of the retina. Not sure, but they are never completely blind bc they seemed to know somewhat where they were. I have one chick (hes an adult roo now) that knew that when ever I would put my hand over his back he should put his head down to find something to either eat or drink. That was because as a chick I was always leading him to food/water that way! So maybe you can try and teach her that when you touch her in a certain place she knows to eat...try laying your hand on her back or giving a certain call whenever she is eating. Eventually she should learn that a touch in a certain place or sound means "look for food"! Its worth a try if you cant find another way. [​IMG]

    Of course you could always try just putting what ever the treat is in her food dish...eventually she should stumble across it.

    Good luck! [​IMG]
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2010
  5. Ondra's Seramas

    Ondra's Seramas Drowning in Seramas

    Feb 19, 2009
    North Central WA
  6. pgpoultry

    pgpoultry Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 16, 2009
    It is possible to keep blind hens without too much trouble, but you need to make sure that everything is kept in the same place in the pen and there aren't too many other over-enthusiastic birds around.

    I also keep a blind ram lamb called Dopey. He was born this year and rapidly rejected by his mother (we initially thought he was just a bit slow hence his name). He has turned into an ecologically sound lawnmower.....he has the fenced out orchard area (quite small) to himself and a companion lamb. We keep water etc. always in the same place. I also use this area for isolating sickly or wounded chickens, so the area is put to good use.

    I do not feel that blind animals necessarily suffer at all as they adapt to their disability very well if we think through their special needs. Probably unwise to breed from them, though, as the blindness could be genetic.

  7. cabela

    cabela Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 16, 2010
    thank you for all the good advice. I do keep her food/water in the same place and she knows my voice and will come over to me when I call her name.

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