Is my pullet blind or developmentally delayed?

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by troy007ramz, Aug 8, 2014.

  1. troy007ramz

    troy007ramz Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 1, 2014
    I have a 21 week old New Hampshire Red that isn't quite right. She pecks if the pullets/hens are pecking next to her but when she's on her own she can't seem to find food. If I throw something towards her she freaks out and flies away. When i open the coop in the morning the other ladies run out to free range and she paces until I go in and stand behind her to chase her out. She's run into the post, a wall, kids toys, etc. I've seen her do somersaults off the perch in the morning and nose dives on the way back to the coop. She JUST started to lay a few days ago and they are shell-less.

    When the others lock up at night she gets back in the bushes and has to be chased out. What is going on with her?
     
  2. Stiggy

    Stiggy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    She sounds spooked, and vision inpared. Check her eyes for grey/ milky areas which look kind of like cateracts/glycomas . they are a sure sign of blindness
     
  3. troy007ramz

    troy007ramz Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 1, 2014
    Thank you. I caught her this morning and looked in her eyes. The pupils have bluish clouds in them. I've never had a blind chicken. I'm wondering if she'll be able to be a successful layer. She has laid a yolkless egg from her perch and a shell-less egg in the field. I have never seen her go in the nesting boxes like the others. I may need to have some chicken soup :(
     
  4. Stiggy

    Stiggy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Then yes she is blind. If she can eat ok and keep a good weight then she will be able to lay, however her quality of life and ability to enjoy it is another matter. She will be unable to find things including the nest boxes and they are very susseptiable to predators and injuries. There are various people on here who have differing opinions on blind chickens and what to do, some make them house pets, some give them the chop and some let them fend for themselves. Depending on what you want and how much extra time you want to spend feeding, helping etc will depend on the outcome. Of course the quality of life must also be assessed. Personally I have 2 half blind chickens in my personal pet flock and they do well with just the one eye, I regularly check them over to make sure they are eating enough and are otherwise healthy however I never keep any that have no good eyes because in my experience they suffer, they get trampled and injured, cant find feed or the house and its just no fair so I put them out of their misery. But that's my opinion, I hope that whatever your decision is that it works out well for you and your flock.
     
  5. troy007ramz

    troy007ramz Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 1, 2014
    She is completely blind out of the right eye but seems to see out of the left even though it is cloudy. Do they eventually go completely blind, or do they keep their partial vision? She eats and drinks okay, just misses out on the good treats I throw out for them. She likes to stay under brush and bushes, but doesn't respond quickly to possible threats like the others do. So I do worry about predators with her. However, she manages to roost okay.
     
  6. Stiggy

    Stiggy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    It depends on what caused her to be/ go blind. I doubt it will get better but I dont know if it will get any worse. If she stays with the flock, isn't being bullied and is eating and drinking ok then she should be ok. Just be aware that she may struggle
     
  7. troy007ramz

    troy007ramz Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 1, 2014
    She ended up having to be made dinner :( The other hens started picking on her non-stop.
     
  8. Stiggy

    Stiggy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm sorry to hear that, its a real shame. I take it that her eyes never got better then?
     
  9. troy007ramz

    troy007ramz Out Of The Brooder

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    They seemed to get worse :( She started running into things, including the other hens. They'd get bent out of shape and lay into her. She'd wedge herself into the corner and try to block her head. My daughter wanted us to kill all the bullies, but I couldn't see wiping out the whole flock for 1 hen. When they wouldn't let her get to the food we knew it was time
     
  10. Stiggy

    Stiggy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Once again, sorry to hear that. It is especially difficult when they are pets/ make themselves uber friendly. Yes hens can be old and mean to anything weaker than themselves, I've been thinking about this lately for when my 2 half blind girls get older as to what I will do should the others get stroppy. I can understand that, the life of one hen in all economical and such realities is not worth as much as an entire flock. Its a shame that you couldn't have a spate pen for her with a mate, but chances are the mate would also get stroppy after a while. Best of luck to your other Chooks :)
     

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