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My welsummer pullet keeps closing her eyes

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by HHandbasket, Jul 4, 2010.

  1. HHandbasket

    HHandbasket The Chickeneer

    My welsummer, who is about 10-12 weeks by my best guess (she's the youngest bird in my flock) has been closing her eyes a lot the last couple of days. None of my other birds are doing it. Today, she closed her eyes and walked around the coop blindly, like a little kid who puts a pillowcase over his head to be silly and walks around the room and runs into things. I've noticed her doing it a lot the last 3 days. She is eating and drinking well but is less active than the rest of the birds (only slightly, though). There doesn't seem to be any excessive pecking or abuse going on between my girls. She just seems to like to keep her eyes closed a lot and is the most "solitary" of all my birds. She is still very, very social, but every once in a while, she'll toodle off to a corner by herself and just stand there with her eyes closed for a minute or 2 and then rejoins her "sisters" (yes, I call my girls "sisters", even though none of them are in any way related because they're all different breeds).

    Is this weird? Is this a sign that she could have an underlying health issue?

    Thanks for any tips/help!

    Martha, the welsummer, thanks you, too! Bawk bawk, says she.

  2. HHandbasket

    HHandbasket The Chickeneer

    Here's an update and another question: It appears that Martha has a chicken form of narcolepsy. Has anyone ever had this happen to one of their birds before? She seems otherwise a very happy bird, absolutely normal, enjoys foraging around the yard with the other chooks, eats and drinks very well. It's just that sometimes, she'll be walking around the yard or in her pen or whatever, and her eyes will slowly close... and she'll just fall asleep, mid-step. She'll relax her body (you know that "shape" they take on when they're asleep), and stand there a minute or two or three and just ... snooze. I'll wake her up sometimes & I have gotten pretty good and doing it without startling her.

    Today during free-range time, she's toodling around the yard with the other chickens, and they're eating grass and bugs and flies and stuff, and she's strutting around and making her little chicken sounds and I watched her eyes close... and there she stood... sleeping. Took like 15-20 seconds for her to go from strutting around foraging to smooth-out asleep. She reminds me of my Aunt Doris, who often would fall asleep in the middle of a sentence while she was talking to you (and she wasn't old, either.... maybe 50-ish?).

    Does this sound like anything you've heard of before? A narcoleptic chicken? For cryin' out loud! LOL!
  3. Amy R

    Amy R In the Brooder

    Jun 3, 2015
    Hi there,
    I know this is an old thread but i have the same situation with a new chick. She cant seem to keep her eyes open. Everything else seems fine. What ever happened to yours?

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