NB Chicks eyes get stuck shut. Normal?


Mar 6, 2018
Syracuse, NY
I hatched 4 chicks 3 days ago, some of which were born with some minimal goop and egg shells on their fur, though were still able to fluff up on their own. The next day, I noticed that 2 of them would periodically have one or both eyelids get stuck shut after snoozing. They usually opened on their own, or it would take just a dab of water to unstick them. 2-3 days later, the problem has totally gone away, and their eyes are bright and clear. In researching it, I almost exclusively stumbled upon horrid articles which indicated that this was a serious disease, that I should report to my county ASAP. Now, it appears to be totally better. This was my first time hatching at home.
Can more experienced Hatcher’s tell me if this can be normal, or if I should be worried still?
I remember well a chick I had years ago that had that problem. She had one or both eyes stuck shut often. We cleaned it up with wet cotton buds every time and the problem resolved itself soon enough. She was perfectly fine and healthy otherwise.

I'd keep an eye on your chicks and not worry, unless they show any other symptoms or signs of being unwell.
In case you come across this problem again: I also had one chick with a dry & stuck closed eye, I put human eye wash on a q-tip & swiped it; then when it dried again, I put terramycin ophthalmic ointment (like antibiotic ointment that would loosen the dry sticky stuff) on a q-tip & dabed it on the closed eye. It all worked out fine. It occured to me that my humidity may have been too high in incubation & the chicks came out too wet & sticky; so started using the so called "dry incubation" method (which is not really dry, just drier than incubator instructions, a whole nother subject though).

My first train of thought is to keep it simple in diagnosing the problem & simple alternative approaches to solving the problem. I imagine that an epidemic or serious chicken disease would have at least a few persistent & severe symptoms, so not to worry. Have a wonderful time with your chickens. Best wishes.

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