- May 19, 2013
My bantam golden laced Cochin went in to molt recently. She was kind of moping around at first, but we just thought it was a hard molt. When she didn't get better we brought her inside and tried to figure out what was wrong with her. We checked her eyes and her pupils didn't react to light so we decided she was blind, which so far appears to be very accurate. She seems to still be able to see colour but not shapes (she can recognize bright food but can't see hands and runs of tables). We started giving her eye drops, but it didn't seem to affect her very much. Then she started to turn white, the base of her feathers is white. The feather part is white. Basically her under-feathering is totally white. We thought she might have genetic nutritional deficits, which would explain losing colour in her feathers and her deteriorating eyesight, but nothing else seems to be affected. Recently a friend told me that this was happening all over the state (WA state), and that someone who did a necropsy thought it was a more virulent form of Mareks. I've heard of ocular mareks, and her pupils are sort of strange but I can't find white feathers as a symptom and the Cochin doesn't seem to have any of the other symptoms. She walks fine when she wants to, though being blind means she sometimes would rather sit on her heating pad. Her feathers look fine other than being white, and I haven't seen any scabs.