Should eyes be reflective (red)?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Blue Harvest Mama, Oct 26, 2008.

  1. Blue Harvest Mama

    Blue Harvest Mama Hatching

    Jul 6, 2008
    I think this might be my first post, so glad to have so much knowledge available in one place [​IMG]

    We have several 13 week old Barred Rock pullets and one has been a little lethargic and off to herself for the past 36-48 hours. She has been less spunky than the rest and will take frequent "naps" where she sits/stands with feathers puffed eyes closed. Although she is better today, I'm not comfortable that all is back to normal just yet. One thing I did notice last night when closing up the coop, when my headlamp shown on her eyes they reflected red, where as all the rest didn't seem to reflect at all. It could have been the angle (she was off to a corner away from the rest), but those that I was able to shine a light on didn't seem to appear the same as her eyes.

    Should a chickens pupils reflect and if so, what color? Could this be a sign of an illness/disease or problem (blindness)?

    Additional info that might be helpful:

    13wk old pullet flock is currently not free-range and are kept in a separate run & coop from older flock.

    Fed organic soy-free broiler feed with DE added.

    ACV added to water on a regular basis.

    I did take her and another flock mate out to free-range on grass yesterday, she was slow to relax, but eventually began to eat grass.

    Stools small, but otherwise normal.

    No sneezing, weezing or other signs of respiratory distress.

    It has been chilly and wet the past few days, but sunny and warmer today.

    Are closed up in a insulated hoop coop at night, so they have shelter from elements.

    Please let me know if any additional info is needed. She may have just been cold due to the weather change, so I'll update should her condition change or I think of anything else that may be usefully.

    Off to give them their first taste of yogurt [​IMG]

    Thanks in advance!
    Blue Harvest Mama
  2. ivan3

    ivan3 spurredon Premium Member

    Jan 27, 2007
    Hope the girl is improving. The difference you noticed in `reflection' is interesting. It seems that chooks and humans, for instance, being diurnal beasties, lack a tapetum lucidum (fun to google that). If I'm holding a chook, in the dark, and someone takes a pic with flash - both the chook and I should have `red eye' owing to the lack of a tapetum lucidum.

    You didn't mention if your lamp was incandescent/led, but it might be an interesting experiment to check them from different angles with different lighting.

    The fact your hen was `puffed up' isn't a good sign. Keep an eye on her and post if she's not improving.

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