Is Dovie developmentally challenged, blind or just dumb?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by so lucky, Jul 17, 2011.

  1. so lucky

    so lucky Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 31, 2011
    SE Missouri
    My approximately 14 week old EE is at the bottom of the pecking order with her 5 same-age mixed breed flock mates. She is much lighter weight than the rest, and I have noticed that she gets beaten to the punch every time when I throw a bug or treat to them. Today I isolated her momentarily, threw a Japanese beetle at her and she went for it, but missed it on the ground by a good inch. She turned to walk away. I picked up the bug and threw it right in front of her. She pecked at it a couple of times but gave up without getting it. Being an EE, she has muffs that seemed to be restricting her peripheral vision so my hubby and I trimmed them, thinking that would solve some of her issues. Well, it hasn't. Her "sister" EE seemed to be helped by the feather trim under her eyes, but not Dovie. I am wondering if I need to start feeding her separately every day, or let her fend for herself. She does OK with a pan of crumbles, watermelon rind or anything large mass that she can aimlessly pick at. She comes to the feed pan after the others have left, usually, not joining in the fracas. (or being run off by the roo) She will be nearing laying age soon, and she is no bigger than a popcorn fart. My accidental roo, Buck, picks on her a lot, to the point that Dovie squawks and runs if Buck even looks her direction. Maybe I should take her aside daily and feed her a scrambled egg? She is my prettiest chicken, naturally. [​IMG] Does anyone else have "challenged" chickens? Do you give them special treatment?
  2. Fritatta

    Fritatta Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 16, 2011
    Woodstock, GA
    it does sound like she doesnt see very well. and the other chickens will know this. does she have enough room to get away or hide when needed? Is she getting pecked to the point of blood?

    I would set up 2 or 3 places to eat and drink. if they arent pecking her to injury, she may be just fine. and she will lay a GORGEOUS green/blue egg! she may end up being your best layer.
  3. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years. Premium Member

    Aug 26, 2009
    Out to pasture
    do you have a friend you could pen her up with? One maybe low on the pecking order and easy going - she could mentor Dovie. I really don't think she is dumb, sounds more like a problem with depth perception. Has she had any eye injuries?
  4. poseygrace

    poseygrace Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 29, 2011
    Awww, poor Dovie! As long as she doesn't appear to be suffering, and she is getting enough to eat, I wouldn't worry about it. You say she can eat crumbles, etc, without trouble, so I wouldn't be overly concerned.
  5. lowry075

    lowry075 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 29, 2011
    Southern California
    What, no pic?!! [​IMG]

    I also have an EE and she is a little slow. Yours should be okay, as long as she eats. Have you tried hand feeding her meal worms?
  6. Arielle

    Arielle Chicken Obsessed

    Feb 19, 2011
    Massachusetts, USA
    My first EE came to me because she was the lowest in the pecking order and not thriving. We took her and as the only chicken had free run of the farm. Ate with the sheep a lot, as I remember, especially gobbling up the corn. SHe is the boss now, the younger birds at about 5 months, still move out of her way! She will monopolize the entire feed pan!! LOL Even the roosters are not dominant enough to hold her down.

    Maybe your pretty girl would benefit from having her own space with a buddy and her own food.
  7. ladybug99

    ladybug99 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 10, 2010
    Monroe New Jersey
    I have intregrated a few new chickens into the flock this year and have found they are HORRIBLE to each other, pecking order is ridculous in my eyes but not thiers. I put out several dishes of food, water and treats everyday. Chickens can stand to live with out the treats but not food and water. I find that the bottom level chickens are always being chased away from the food in the coop so I have the little "chick sized" automatic feeders that I place out every day one with food one with water and I find the lower level girls always eating from them. I also just split up thier treats into two areas, seems to work for my group. I now find the more aggressive group goes to one bowl and the others have plenty of other eating areas. I pick them up at the end of the night so I don't have night visitors.

    If yours is having issues with seeing where things are make sure you put the food and water in the same place every day so she will know where to go.
  8. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens

    Well ALL my birds have high IQs ([​IMG]), so I know in my little girl Tinkerbell's case, it's simply the developmental delays.

    She's a silkie, and acts just as you described, missing treats on the ground by a mile - but she's diligent - she'll quickly peck about 8 times in the general area, and sometimes she lucks out and spears it [​IMG]. However, scratch, BOSS, anything small is a lost case unless I put her portion in a little mound. Even when I hold things out between my finger/thumb for her, it takes several grabs.

    We thought maybe it was her sheepdog like "hair" draped over her eyes, so we keep it pretty short now. But I really think it's more the muffs than anything. I mean, think about it. Cup your hands loosely, and hold them on your cheeks along each side of your nose; it REALLY cuts down on your peripheral vision, and THAT'S with eyes in the front. I do trim the muff area a little too, and it does seem to help.

    I love my little Tinkerbell! [​IMG]
  9. Sassafras

    Sassafras Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 16, 2011
    3 of my 12 are EE's and they are more shy in general. When I free range them they seem to have a harder time understanding the way back to the pen door. [​IMG] They are just lucky they are so pretty!!!
  10. so lucky

    so lucky Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 31, 2011
    SE Missouri
    Thanks for the helpful replies. Dovie doesn't get pecked to the point of blood (yet!) And she usually only gets chased away from the feeder/waterer when I first bring feed or new cold water. It's the inability to get treats and general defeated attitude that I notice mostly. Also, I just realized she is the one that causes a lot of the trouble on the roost. She is always trying to dive under somebody else, and causes them to get unbalanced, and then a couple fall off. Major squawking. I think maybe Dovie is passive/agressive. She gets special treatment from the human by acting pitiful! [​IMG] Seriously, tho, I will pay close attention and start feeding her extra. And keep the muffs clipped!

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