My hen has bad vision!

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by chookchick, Sep 2, 2009.

  1. chookchick

    chookchick Songster

    Aug 18, 2008
    Olympia WA
    I have a sweet EE named Cleopatra that is my favorite of them all. She has always been very calm, talkative, friendly and curious. She is also rather clever. But when she jumps on a roost, it is the oddest thing, she seems to "miss aim" and fly up too high. When she eats from my hand it hurts, as she grabs big chunks of flesh instead of the treat! I watched her tonight closely as she pecked for food, and I noticed that her pecks were often "off", and the other hens would get everything before she had a chance. She also does not seem interested in scratch [​IMG]
    So I'm thinking that her eyesight may be not great--does this seem like a reasonable conclusion? I'm gonna pick her up and give her treats by hand, even if it hurts! Does anyone else have a hen like this?

  2. Happy Chooks

    Happy Chooks Moderator Staff Member

    Jul 9, 2009
    Northern CA
    My Coop
    I don't know about the vision part, but save your hands and feed her treats in a plastic cup. (like a cleaned small yogurt container)
  3. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

    Nov 9, 2007
    SW Arkansas
    Yes, my Lil'Bit is partially blind. Here's how we determined which eye was bad. My DH had me hold her while he brought his index finger closer and closer to her eyes, one at a time. She doesn't blink at all when you bring your finger up to her right eye. She apparently can see fine out of the left.
    She took extra care when she was young. She usually tries to get into the coop before it gets too dark so she can make it up on a roost but if she doesn't, she waits for me by the door and I put her on a roost. I made her a special nestbox on the floor (rather than raised off the floor like the others) but she prefers the raised ones.
    If she wanders off from the flock, she knows enough to head back to the coop area and waits for them there. She has a friend Lilith, who acts as her seeing eye chicken and I usually find the two of them together.
    They can do fine with limited vision.
    PM me if you have any questions about dealing with your special needs hen. I'll be glad to try and help. [​IMG]
  4. flymamma

    flymamma Songster

    Jul 10, 2009
    I have a friend with a blind EE hen .. she gets around just fine ... just don't sneak up her .. she is VERY jumpy ! I also have a one eyed pullet , that lost her vision due to a respiratory illness . Then just as she was starting to try to use her eye again .. those mean friends of hers pecked her right in the bad eye.. I am pretty sure the eye is gone now . But she is fine , the sweetest of my bunch . She now has her own coop and free ranges more than the others because I feel bad for her being alone so I let her out whenever I am out in the garden .
  5. AK Michelle

    AK Michelle Bad Girl of the North

    Mar 17, 2009
    Palmer, Alaska
    This is funny but not in a ha-ha kinda way. I just realized my black silkie hen is probably blind and guess what her name is?


    I used to think she was a bit dumb, but then I saw her eat, when it was just her and not her and 30 others, well she misses ALOT. But she does get some, I mean she hasn't starved yet so she's eating. I was worried about her at the fair cause they have such small dishes. I go every day and take a larger dish to let her eat out of. I don't mind hanging out for awhile so she can get enough. When she's done eating I make sure she gets water too. the cage has a small auto-waterer, a hard target to hit. I dip her beak in the waterer before I feed her, and then after she eats I empty her dish and fill it with water and wander the barn for awhile longer letting her have her fill before cleaning it all up. One of the 4-H kids working the chicken barn is helping her in the mornings for me.

  6. isa25

    isa25 In the Brooder

    Aug 24, 2009
    White Cloud
    I have a blind one named Lilly. I had to make her her own area because the others were pecking her pretty bad. I was wondering now that the spot on her neck is cleared up and not bloody anymore, can I try reintegrating her into the fold?? I worry about her this winter because she is in a dog house with a fenced run for her. She is my sweetie. [​IMG] Loves to talk to me but your right don't sneak up on her!!!
  7. flymamma

    flymamma Songster

    Jul 10, 2009
    Quote:I worry about my gal too in the winter .. she is not strong enough for me to re-integrate and cooler temperatures are around the corner . Plus she is scared of the other chickens now , when she is alone she will eat and drink just fine , but if she can see even one of the other chickens when they are out free ranging she hides in her nest box . With yours I would make sure she is strong enough to fight for her food etc before you integrate her , and maybe just take her for supervised visits in the main coop and see how the others react to her ... Just a guess onmy part though . I am very new at this .
  8. isa25

    isa25 In the Brooder

    Aug 24, 2009
    White Cloud
    Thats what I was thinking. I want to make sure they aren't gonna pick on her!! Before she would hide in the house all day and when she did come out they pecked her and pecked her. Maybe she will have to go into the barn with the sheep and goat this winter in her own coop still. At least that way their body heat will help heat the area and there are the over head lights.
  9. BannerB

    BannerB Hatching

    Jun 13, 2014
    Derby, Kansas
    Hi there!

    YES!! I have one that is about 14 weeks old and we noticed that she doesn't get the treats like the others do. She seems to hold back or if she's in there trying to grab a dried cranberry off the ground she pecks about an inch to the right. I have been picking her up and feeding whatever snack piled in a small condiment cup because she too hurts when she pecks and misses. If I have it in a small cup she pecks in and will hit a treat. I've noticed her eye seems set back a little bit so I'm sure she has a bit of an eye issue but she seems healthy otherwise. I'm also near sighted so that means she's just that much more special to me. :)

    Interestingly enough...reading the posts it hadn't even dawned on me about the nipple waterers. I have one in their coop. I am going to find a different style of waterer to add to the coop to make sure she gets her fill. I have also kept a bowl outside of their coop filled with water because I have one chickie that loves to splash in it. (Yes- I have odd Chickies- but love their individuality)

    I just joined backyard chickens because we have our first set of chickens...6 girls and 2 roos but I'm glad to know my Eggberta (yes- my 12 year old named her Eggbert at first not knowing boy or girl status) not a one of a kind.

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