Possible sight impairment or some other issue?


Sep 19, 2020
One of my fourteen week old hens has started to concern me lately. I'm a bit worried she may have a vision impairment due to some behaviors not observed in my other two.

I'm feeding them small amounts of cracked corn 2-3 times per day to keep them warm and Ziggy (the gal in question) doesn't go for it when I spread it on the ground but instead insists on eating directly out of my hand.

Today I was treat-training them to use a perch that I constructed for them. The other two figured it out very quickly and had no problems hopping up and accepting their treats. With Ziggy, I had to pick her up and place her on the perch. My real concern came when I went to feed her her reward of one mealworm. She couldn't seem to find and grasp it from my hand. She failed to do this three times (the other two took turns snatching her treats).

This has me worried that we might be looking at some sort of impairment with sight or coordination. Physically, her eyes look fine. No discharge or visible injuries. She also doesn't appear to be malnourished or anything.

She's seemed a little off since I brought them outside 5 or 6 weeks ago (around Halloween, however long ago). She doesn't do anything overtly concerning but while I wouldn't call her lethargic necessarily, she isn't really as spunky as the other two. She's usually the last to run up to me when I go out to check on them and I've observed her hanging out in the coop by herself, which the others don't do. This might not be worth mentioning but she does seem to drink more water than the other two, specifically first thing in the morning.

Does this sound like any condition you've heard of? Do you have any recommendations for what to look out for or anything? I appreciate your input!
What do you normally feed?

If you can get a video of her actions that may be helpful. Upload to youtube and provide a link.

I would check her crop to make sure it's emptying overnight.
She may be low in the pecking order so some of her behavior may be due to that. Observe the flock's interactions and see if she's being kept from food/water and whether or not she's being picked at.

I would only give corn once a day, it's not going to really give them any extra heat. Too much corn/scratch in confined birds adds fat and dilutes the nutritional content of what they get so treats should really be limited.
Thank you for the suggestions, I will try to capture some video. They're on grower crumble at the moment. I will also reassess their treat intake.
One of my Easter eggers also seems to have a similar issue... she usually pecks about a centimeter below her target. I take her away and get her extra food afterwards to make sure she gets enough. She isn't at the bottom of the pecking order and appears strong and healthy, laying beautiful olive colored eggs. This is interesting, and I will be watching this thread.
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