My broody hen's eyes are crusted shut!

chickenfishfarm

In the Brooder
8 Years
Sep 6, 2011
12
0
22
The chicks are due today and have already pipped, I just noticed her eyes are crusty. I've put eye ointment in but I'm wondering if she is sick and if I should take the babies away when they hatch?
Is crusty eyes a broody thing ever?
Thanks,
Hayley
 

BantamLover21

Crowing
7 Years
Jul 24, 2013
23,660
1,554
426
There are several possible reasons for crusty eyes. Since your hen is broody, I would first suspect that there are mites on her head which are biting and causing scabs/crustiness. Broody hens don't always take the best care of themselves, making it easy for external parasites to build-up. I would look beneath the feathers on her head and other body areas for any signs of parasites, and treat if needed.

Another possibility is an infection, either localized to the eyes or a full respiratory infection. If the infection is just in her eyes, the eye ointment should help resolve the problem. A respiratory disease is more serious. If that is the case, she will need antibiotic treatment. I'd recommend a broad spectrum antibiotic, like Tylan50 injectable. However, keep in mind that most respiratory disease are chronic problems, and she may never really be free of the disease.

If the problem is mites, then the chicks should be fine as long as you treat her and keep a close eye on them. If it is a respiratory disease, though, I would probably remove her from the chicks and raise them separately.

Good luck with your hen and her hatch!
 
Last edited:

chickenfishfarm

In the Brooder
8 Years
Sep 6, 2011
12
0
22
Thanks for your thoughtful reply. I guess I have to find out what mites look like! Other signs for respiratory disease would be coughing and sneezing?
Hayley
 

BantamLover21

Crowing
7 Years
Jul 24, 2013
23,660
1,554
426
Other respiratory symptoms include: coughing, sneezing, wheezing, nasal discharge, swollen face, gurgling, and rattling.
 

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