Rotting Eyes? Pics and Video, PLEASE help?


Longfeather Lane
13 Years
Jun 10, 2010
So we really have no idea what is going on. About a week ago one of our polish chicks turned up and it looked as if a tumor had taken over one of her eyes and become the size of her head. We chased her down to get a better luck and for lack of a better description, it looked as though her eye had sunken in and... uh... putrified, I guess? Her eye was sealed shut and when I wet it down and opened it, I couldn't see anything left of the eye, just jelly and juices. At the time I figured she'd gotten something into it, or injured it and the healing had gone horribly wrong; I could smell the infection from more than an arms-length away. She'd also managed to impact her crop, and in the end we culled her.

Now a week later, I've got five more chicks sitting in my living room in a rabbit cage. This time it's two silkies, two black copper marans, and an unknown 'rare' chick. The silkies I hatched myself from Kelar, the marans I hatched myself from an eBay member, and the rare came in with our order of meat birds from McMurray. They were all in the same pen together, and they are all starting to display droopy eyes or in the case of the white silkie, its eye was sealed and starting to bulge like the polish chick's had done. The two silkies were hatched beside two others from Kelar who are 1) fine and 2) a LOT bigger. We also have lost a bunch of the meat birds to 'falling asleep', and at 6 weeks (two weeks from when they 'should' be ready to butcher), they are no bigger than the 'rare' random chick that came in. We had put antibiotic in their water, but it seems to not have done any good at all.


I have a video of the white silkie chick, as it was the worst of the five. The video shows the silkie 'gaping' but that could be because I just shoved 3ml of water down its throat followed by about a 1ml of vegetable oil so I could test its crop after what happened to the Polish. The silkie is very thin, but seems interested in food and my god won't shut up cheeping for a second. It seems to have stopped this behavior, but I'm putting it here in case it couples with the eye problem.

They are bedded on aspen shavings in a barn with 2 heat lamps. We've been feeding them standard chick starter- the five I have separated are getting medicated starter now. I used warm water to make sure everyone could open their eyes and soaked up a bunch of clearish goo from the white silkie's bulging eye when I opened it. I smeared neosporin over the worst eyes in the group, and they will get to stay inside with their own heat lamp, food, and water. I don't have time tonight as I have to get to bed for work in the morning, but I will be making them a warm mash tomorrow and getting some electrolytes into their water. They've also got a portion of diatomaceous earth for overnight.

Anyone have any ideas what is causing this to happen to their eyes? The white silkie's smelled infected as well, but the other for now are just watery and/or crusting shut. Is this something that's contagious or are they picking it up from an environmental problem I can change? Is there some other thing I have to do to treat/prevent this?

Will post back with how it's going with what I've done so far. They don't seem to be in pain over it, so I'm interesting in treating this if possible.
Ick hon i dont know about these babys..may be best to cull the whole group... I know this sounds horrable but if you cant find out what it is and more get sick i would cull and start over
Well, I don't really want to cull them straight away without knowing what it is. I mean, if it's something as easy as a different anti-biotic or a shot or smearing neosporin on their faces for a bit, then I'd hate to kill them without trying. On the other hand, if it's something that will stay around in the bedding or whatever, I need to know what it is first so I know if I DO have to cull everyone and start over that I have to nuke the entire place first so I don't just start over into a bad thing. So while the cull input in appreciated, it doesn't do much good
Sorry, I have no answer so the best I can do is give you a bump. Maybe someone will know.
Oh no i wasn't saying go kill them all right now but if the majoraty start showing semotoms AND we/you cant figurre out wat is ailing your sweeties then it may be time to cull. I was just trying to prepare you for worse comments...
hope he/she/they get better
Thanks, I have never seen this either. Popped up after we got those stupid failing meat birds from McMurray.... we've left them messages and are waiting to hear back. Maybe they will know something.

And in case the top post was too full of explanation the symptoms are:

Swollen/bulging eyes with discharge
Eyes crusted shut/droopy eyes
Weight loss in some
Stunted growth in all affected
('runny nose', but I honestly don't know if the nose is runny or if it's the eye gunk dripping down the face

'sleepy' meat chicks dying in same pen
Hmmm sounds like the meaties are the cause... Maybie harboring some illness that they are affected by but in a differ. way than the others... just bthinking out loud here...
The site doesn't list stunted growth, but that sounds about right for what we are seeing. And if I understand correctly, there's no 'starting over' if it is Coryza, as it would remain in the land?

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