Polish hen blinded by giant headcrest!

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by SoupMaker, Dec 11, 2008.

  1. SoupMaker

    SoupMaker Out Of The Brooder

    Dec 7, 2008
    Bay Area, CA
    Hey everyone,

    I recently adopted two white-crested black Polish hens. (They are so cute! And for the record, the answer is no. No eggs. They are moochers.) One of them is very active and curious and seems pretty normal.

    But the other Polish has such a fluffy crest that she is blind! It's so sad-- she acts frightened and shy all the time. When she's let out she doesn't roam very much, she just stands in one place clucking in a bewildered manner. When I offer her a caterpillar, I have to put my hand right down in front of her face, near her legs, and she spots it but still often misses when she pecks for it. Recently my boyfriend held her up over his head and said that he still couldn't see her eyes because they were obscured by her very impressive head crest!

    I want her to be able to function normally, and was thinking about trimming her head crest. Does anyone have experience with this? I need advice...
  2. BeardedChick

    BeardedChick Chillin' With My Peeps

    I trim the feathers back on my Polish hen's crest so she can see. She seems to need a trim every 3-4 months. Just go slow and be careful. Much easier if you have a person to help you.

    Last edited: Dec 11, 2008
  3. Mojo Chick'n

    Mojo Chick'n Empress of Chickenville

    Quote:As long as you do not intend to show her, then I would definately trim the headcrest. I had a bird that had to have this done, more because his flopped to one side, and he was constantly flipping his head like a teenager with long hair [​IMG] I thought he was gonna give himself whiplash, poor guy.

    If you cut it, it will grow back by the next molt, if you pluck it, it will grow in faster (and hurt more, I would imagine - I have a hard time plucking my own eyebrows - ouch).

    When I did it, I didn't go too drastic, just enough so he could see better and not have a lopsided head.

    good luck -
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 11, 2008
  4. Vcomb

    Vcomb Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 19, 2008
    South Dakota
    My Coop
    its a simple procedure really. have your boyfriend hold her so that you can see where the eye should be. lay a pair of scissors along that line so that the tip fo the scissors go far past the eye and cut the feathers (scissors should be cutting downward when you hold them not sideways. cut back til she can see. you can opt to give her a mohawk, or cut ot down til its just an afro of feather stubs. either way its just like a haircut. if the feathers are in bloodquill though do not cut down to the new growth of the feathers, cut just above it.

    good luck!
  5. Mom 2em All

    Mom 2em All Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 20, 2008
    Southeast Michigan
    or....you could just hang your CHE a little too low, like I did...

    instant haircut. [​IMG]

    Just kidding.

    Im sure your hen will appreciate a feather trim. If it is as goofy as my Polish, she will probably look at the other chickens and say, "Hey, when did you get here?" [​IMG]
  6. BeardedChick

    BeardedChick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Yeah, it's funny how they croon their neck around and look at you when they can REALLY see you for the first time... Silly Polish.
  7. SoupMaker

    SoupMaker Out Of The Brooder

    Dec 7, 2008
    Bay Area, CA
    Thanks everyone. What a great forum.
  8. BeardedChick

    BeardedChick Chillin' With My Peeps

    So... How did the Fine Haircutting for Wayward Polish Hens turn out? Haute couture or what?? [​IMG] Will it go with the Versace gown?
  9. SoupMaker

    SoupMaker Out Of The Brooder

    Dec 7, 2008
    Bay Area, CA
    We gave her a trim this afternoon, and what a difference! As soon as we put her down, she started running around all crazy, dancing and dodging and pecking! It was so joyous. I feel like we gave her the gift of vision.

    Best of all, she stood up to my other hens that have been bullying her. We've been keeping them separated since we got her (only had her about a week) because she used to just huddle up and cluck miserably and let them peck her, it was the saddest sight I've ever seen. But today after her haircut, she swatted my black austrolorp with a wing and then took off like a flash! What a triumph.

    A possibly related question: Her beak has a rather vicious, downwards-curving point. I was wondering if maybe this is because she used to be unable to peck at things properly and hasn't been able to wear it down? My other polish has naturally better eyesight and a normal beak.
  10. IsaRed

    IsaRed New Egg

    Oct 23, 2012
    Wayne County, Ohio
    I just trimmed ours tonight...they did seem to be a little lost. Excited to see how they will act in the morning....

    Quote: And that is what one of them reminded me of.....made me LOL literally!!

    Not good at this forum stuff, but I will get the hang of it.

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