Keeping a Blind Chicken

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by lala4578, Oct 2, 2015.

  1. Fizzybelle

    Fizzybelle Songster

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    16 Paws, thank you. I wanted to update, there has been some improvement after her follow up consultation today, so she's continuing on with her treatment and another follow up in 2 weeks. I was so glad to hear she's improving, I was really upset for her, but still planning on how to make life good for her. The information I've read and knowledge gained from this thread though has been very valuable, and should things slide backwards or I have the chance to take on a special needs bird, I won't have reason to hesitate, and know it can be done, and that they can be happy.

    Bocktobery 10 I hope your little chick continues to improve, she sounds like a determined little fighter! I look forward more pics :)
     
  2. Bocktobery 10

    Bocktobery 10 Songster

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    Thanks Fizzybelle, 16 paws.. and everyone..

    I'm a little late in doing this, but pictures as promised... It is very difficult to get a good photo of her because she has the head twitch. All photos I've tried to take are usually blurry. These were taken two days ago. She is still very small. She has been doing a bit better at eating on her own, but I still have to feed her. I am worried about her lack of growth and trying to prepare myself for the worst, just in case... you never know and its not looking good for her. (I imagine not growing could be bad news for internal organs)

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    2 people like this.
  3. lala4578

    lala4578 Chirping

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    For food and water, have you tried something closer to her height? Maybe a tea cup or small bowl that is chest high for her, This way she can't walk all over it, and maybe might take a taste when she bumps into it.

    For my grown hen I use planters and short buckets for that reason, because they are just the right height for her to poke her head in.
     
  4. Bocktobery 10

    Bocktobery 10 Songster

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    lala,

    Thanks... I agree with what you are saying. I think maybe an empty yogurt cup might work- something tall and skinny and head height. I'lll give it a try.

    I did have a larger circular tupperware dish that is her height in there for her for a while (filled with food to the top), but when she would bump into it she'd hop up onto it and walk across the food. (Then proceed to spill it) I didn't see her peck, just bump and hop up onto it. I agree with you though, about the water and food being her height. I will have to fashion something so that it is not easily tipped over. Maybe whatever I use needs to be a few milometers taller.

    I've noticed if she gets too hot in the sun she will not move but just sit there and take it... I have this hunch she has mental problems in that she does not realize she can move away from the heat. Also, she will find the food but then loose it again... so something is not computing with her like a regular chicken would- even if just blind. At least, I think that is what is going on with her. that there is more with her than just being blind. She does not seem unintelligent though... its like she has just not realized things yet, or that it takes a long time for her to realize things, if at all. Very slow to learn and catch on. Sometimes it appears she's got her signals mixed up- like forwards is backwards- like she does not have control of her body signals, like they are messed up.

    She has a ton of energy though.... and holding onto her while feeding takes some strength as she wiggles and pushes with her feet like crazy. When I feed her I wrap her up in a towel so that only her head is uncovered.

    Anyway, I think I may have said all this before... I will update here and there. There is not much progress but I will let everyone know what is going on with her and how things turned out with her.
     
  5. Aw she is cuter than a bugs ear. How old is she? I believe she will learn more as time goes by. Cl seems the same way but I believe she will learn more after she matures. Your doing great with her! Thanks for the pix.
    Marie
     
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2016
  6. Bocktobery 10

    Bocktobery 10 Songster

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    She was born July 11. So 8 weeks old now? She is about the size of when her hatch mates were 2 to 3 weeks old. This week I've noticed a growth spurt- so I guess there is hope. I am trying to feed her more, but its been difficult because her metabolism seems slow. (her crop does not empty very fast) I am now putting oil in her food to try and give her some fat. Not sure if this is good or not, but I do believe it will give her some vitamin E. ?
     
  7. Bocktobery 10

    Bocktobery 10 Songster

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    Just updating here-

    I'm happy to report my little blind chick is now eating on his own! And yep, I said "his" and not "her"- I'm pretty sure that the comb growth shows me he is a he and not a she like I thought! (My feather sexing didn't turn out too good, then, eh?) I've since named him "Chibi" (Chib-bee) because that is the noise he makes when I pick him up, repeatedly. ( He doesn't really like being picked up!)

    So it took about 11 weeks for Chibi to start to eat on his own. I still hand feed him here and there to make sure he is getting something, but when I regularly check his crop, it usually has at least a small amount of crumbles in there. I still have issues with him drinking water- So far he has not shown he is able to drink water on his own- but if I dip his beak into water, he does do the drinking motion. The probably is he can't find any water I put in there for him, and any bowl I put in there he either tips over and spills or puts his feet in there and plaps around in it- without realizing it is drinkable water. (makes a mess!) If anyone knows the amount of water a serama chick should be drinking, that would be helpful. Right now, I am just guessing- and giving him sips of water here and there, but I am concerned he isn't getting enough or that I'm giving him too much. So far, his droppings have been of good consistency. (I'm still feeding him Olive oil mixed in with his baby bird formula- I think that is helping.) I think maybe if I can get some fat reserves on the little fellow that he will be able to retain water better. ? (just a guess)

    I am also not sure anymore if he is totally blind. There have been some incidents in which it seems he sees more than I originally thought. I had him out and about with myself and my family and he pulled a solitary red string off of someone's shirt at first try. It almost seems too much of a coincidence for him to have not seen it and aim for it. Perhaps his problems are more about motor difficulties. Its my guess now that his eyesight is just very poor- or that whatever is making his neck shake makes his vision messed up.

    And yes, his neck still spasms constantly. I am still feeding him vitamins. I started back up on the vitamins right after the last time I wrote. I am also feeding him kefir (fermented milk drink) here and here- but not a lot. I think it helps.

    He seems very used to me (except as mentioned before, he does not like to be picked up) He likes to sit on my lap- he seems most at peace/relaxed when he is with someone by their side or on their lap and seems comforted by the sounds of tv or radio (human voices). He is either kicking around chicken chick crumbles and eating or sleeping on or near his heating pad. He has also grown much more- He is getting in new feathers now. Shades of rusty red and dark grey are coming in. Now all I have to do is try and get him to drink on his own.

    He is quite scruffy looking at the moment, but here are some recent photos of him:

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    The photos are about a week old now and he has even grown some more since. As you might be able to tell from the photos, he had no feathers under his chin- something like you might see with a naked neck or turken, but since last week he is starting to grow some tiny feathers here and there. I don't know why he didn't have any feathers, and if anyone knows if this could mean something- like some sort of indication of illness- please let me know. The feathers are coming in fast now- and maybe the reason why he doesn't' like to be picked up as I heard pin feathers can be painful when touched.

    I may have to change his name later! (It was "Squeep" at first- same reason as the name now- that was the sound he was emitting when picked up! Yes, I know, I'm not really original with names! :p )

    I'm still worried about sudden death as I read that can happen with seramas the first year of life. We'll see. Still hoping for this little guy. He's pushed through so much already. He seems happier too. ... which makes me happier.
     
    1 person likes this.
  8. Thanks for the up-date. Sounds like things are going much better now! Good to hear.
    He is very cute.
    Chicken Little is still doing well. She doesnt like to socialize with the other chickens too much. She is scared of their sudden movements. So she is in a little coop and run that meets up with the main flock so they can see her and she can hear them. I was hoping I would see some signs of her seeing in the eye that she does have but no not yet. So glad your little one saw that string and pulled it off! That is amazing! I have one of those small plastic gravity water feeders, if your boy is knocking it over you can put a bungee cord around it and hook it to the side of the cage or wherever you keep him. I have to do that with my mamas that are raising babies because when they teach their kids to dust bathe it goes flying! haha

    Good luck and many blessings to you and your chicken family!
    Marie
     
  9. Bocktobery 10

    Bocktobery 10 Songster

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    Thanks Marie for those kind words! Yes, I think I will look into those gravity waterers.... that sounds perfect.

    Thanks also for the update on your Chicken Little! Its very helpful to hear from others and what is going on with their blind chicken or chick.
     
  10. SlyDog

    SlyDog In the Brooder

    Hello All

    I've just skimmed through your thread as I also have a little bantam who was born blind and very small, just like yours Bocktobery.

    I've just posted this on the welcome forum so apologies if you've read it already :)

    I've recently started keeping pet chickens and started off with 2 older bantams (Thelma & Louise) who came with the second hand coop I bought. They're gorgeous girls, but don't lay so I bought another young bantam silky (Milly) who layed for about a month, and then decided to brood. It wasn't a great start to my chicken egg journey, so I thought, why not get a full size chicken! I found a nice Australorp pullet and after being dicked around by the seller he kindly gave me 4 fertile eggs when I finally got to pick her up (Tilly). Milly was still broody so she got sit on 3 full size eggs and one bantam. 21 days later and I now have Lilly, Maggie, Verna and the bantam is Mona. Mona came out a day late and seemed odd from the get go. Turns out she has no eyes at all, and is very stunted in her growth. Where the other 3 have thrived, Mona has grown very little and still fits in my hand at 8 weeks of age.

    Mamma Milly has taken very good care of them all and still does, but has started to wander now, which isn't so good for Mona. I have been taking extra care of Mona - put a tray of pellets down and plop her in the middle, keep a small water dish in the same spot so she can find it and put her in and out of the hutch most days as she can't always find her way up the ramp.

    I have so far kept the older ladies separate during the day, but they all sleep together at night. I have to make sure Milly and the babies are settled, and Mona safe with them before letting the older ladies in or they will peck at Mona who is unable to figure out how to get away from them. I am worried that Mona won't grow any bigger and therefore not be able to mix with the others, and with our winter approaching she's not big enough to keep herself warm. It doesn't snow here, or get into the minuses, but it does get very wet and windy.

    I do have a small burkes parrot, about the size of a budgie, in a large cage - do you think Mona could live on the ground of the cage while the parrot stays to the perches?

    I also have 4 dogs so there's no way she can be an inside chicken without risk of being chomped.

    Any advice to this newb? BTW - I won't cull her, she's happy and healthy as far as I can tell. Just a blind runt :)

    I also can't tell what breed she is - any ideas? I thought perhaps a speckled sussex?

    thanks
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    This is her near one of her nest buddies, she's just so small!
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    Last edited: Mar 31, 2017

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