New Silkie Eye Trouble

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8 Years
Aug 2, 2011
I have a new silkie chicken that is about 4 months old. I noticed right after getting it home that it's eyes are watery and it keeps closing one eye. I don't see anything in it. It keeps kicking at its face, so it's eyes are definitely bothering it. I did put some terramycin ointment on its eyes. I notice it is also laying down most of the time. It will get up and eat, but isn't quite as active as I would expect. I have it quarantined and put vitamins/electrolytes in the water. Any other ideas? I'm not sure if this is something I should give an antibiotic to or not. I hate to dose something unnecessarily, but I also worry this is the beginning of something, and once a bird gets bad, it usually doesn't recover, so I'd like to catch this early. It does seem kind of thin. My local farm vet is no help with chickens.
Thanks for the quick reply. I'm not exactly sure on weight. What would you dose an average sized 4 month old silkie?
yikes, if it is CRD, then she will be contagious and be a carrier for the rest of her life. If your flock has never been exposed- then you could make all of them sick.
I just wouldn't chance that.
Yeah, that has crossed my mind. I'm hoping it's nothing that serious. I have guineas, but these are my first chickens, aside from the eggs I bought that are due to hatch anytime. I went to great lengths to go to an NPIP certified person with good stock to buy my birds from. I got a few, and it's just the one that appears to have any trouble, and I've separated it from the others. I'm really hoping I'm just being over sensitive, due to my fear of having a horrible outbreak. But there is definitely something going on with this silkies eyes.
yes, I hope it's nothing too serious! Have you informed your seller that your chicken is sick? Did they have any ideas what it might be? I would certainly let them know so they can be on the look out for anything themselves.
No, I haven't let the seller know yet. I don't believe she noticed anything going on with it, because I didn't notice until I got home and was looking closely at their cute little faces last night. After noticing the closed eye, I noticed it was laying down more, so I separated it. I'm waiting to see if it's anything before I bother to worry her with it. I drove quite a distance and going back to return it isn't an option for me anyway.
Posting on an old thread but it might help someone -- I had a silkie chick like this. Tried Tylan, didn't work. Tried Sulmet, didn't work. Tried antibiotic eye ointment, didn't work. It seemed to perk up a little with electrolytes and vitamins in the water, but not as active as the other chicks and its eyes were still watery and often closed.

I was contemplating culling it but then we had a horrible rainstorm and when I went out to check, the silkie chicks hadn't gotten under cover (SILLY BIRDS) and were soaking wet and cold, so I brought them in, and while getting the heatlamp up noticed lice crawling all over just that one chick that had been lethargic and runny-eyed. I gave it a warm bath, dried it, and then dusted ALL the chicks in that group with Sevins dust and the chick perked up so fast it was dang near miraculous. I'm kicking myself for not having looked for external parasites before.
I was going to suggest checking for lice. With young birds and lethargy, the first two things to check for are lice/mites and coccidiosis. Heck, that should be the first thicg to check with lethargic birds of any age.
Checking for lice is a good idea. Should I be able to see them? I have been putting on some eye ointment combined with vitamins/electrolytes in the water and this bird is much more active, and is now opening its eyes to nearly normal.. I am seeing some head shaking though, so perhaps there is an underlying issue of lice. I suppose it wouldn't hurt just to get some Sevin Dust and treat these chickens, right? I'm going to be introducing them to my guineas soon and don't want anything jumping bird to bird. Any great advice on how to apply the Sevin Dust causing the least stress to them? (By the way, I have been sprinkling some DE in the hay bedding.)

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