1. Come check out hundreds of awesome coop pages (and a few that need suggestions) in our 2018 Coop Rating Project!

Still need help - sudden blindness in hen(s)

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by ahclem, May 14, 2010.

  1. ahclem

    ahclem In the Brooder

    10
    0
    22
    Apr 7, 2009
    I posted the following about a week ago but have not received a response. I'm posting it again (moving it up) because I think another of our hens is going blind. Help!


    One of our hens, a little over a year old, seems to have suddenly gone blind in the last couple days. We can see no discharge or change in color in her pupils, although it's possible that the area around her eyes might be irritated. I say "might" because she also seems to be molting and so has lost feathers around her face. Or is she not molting and the feather loss plus blindness is indicative of something else? She's stopped laying, too.

    She seems to have no problem finding her perch or food and water in the coop, and she's still hanging with the others and not being pecked. But we've noticed she seems to be using sound more than sight to get around and find the others when they're all outside free ranging. She will eat out of our hands, as always, but we have to get our hand right in front of her. She used to come to us and find it herself.

    Any ideas about how to determine if she is indeed blind, what might be the cause, and what might be done about it?

    UPDATE: The hen has definitely stopped laying and her eyes do seem somewhat cloudy now. The second hen is still laying but her eyes may be showing the beginnings of clouding.
     

  2. suzyq53511

    suzyq53511 Drowning in Chickens!

    801
    2
    141
    Apr 30, 2010
    Beloit
    i dont know whats wrong with your chickens but i'll bump you. you need help fast!
     
  3. chicmom

    chicmom Dances with Chickens

    8,696
    241
    316
    Feb 24, 2009
    Strasburg Ohio
    What are you feeding them? If they're all from the same place, this could either be genetic, or maybe it could be from a vitamin deficiency?
     
  4. HorseFeatherz NV

    HorseFeatherz NV Eggink Chickens

    I do not know either but:

    What are you feeding - could there possibly be moisture or mold in the feed?

    Do they freerange? Any moldy or toxic plants in the yard - access to compost or molding hay/straw?

    Any pesticides used - by you or neighbors?
     
  5. suzyq53511

    suzyq53511 Drowning in Chickens!

    801
    2
    141
    Apr 30, 2010
    Beloit
    I found this on google:
    Eye Symptoms
    # Chickens that suddenly go blind may have a case of avian pox, a viral disease that affects many species of birds. Aspergillosis can also result in blindness, and chickens diagnosed with this deadly fungal disease will also develop lung infections. Chickens that have large, swollen eyes may have mycoplasmosis, another bacterial-related illness (also called sinusitis).
     
  6. Ocular Marek's disease is also something I would do some research on, especially if it is spreading to your other hens. There is quite a bit of good info here in the BYC archives.

    HTH!
     
  7. ahclem

    ahclem In the Brooder

    10
    0
    22
    Apr 7, 2009
    Thanks for all the responses.

    The feed is a commercial layer feed and I don't see any evidence of mold. They do free range and do spend time in the garden area where we spread some of their old pine bedding chips (before the snow fell this winter). Perhaps this is what's causing it? It is wet in there right now, with standing water in places.

    I don't think it's genetic. Some of our hens do have genetic problems (deformed feet) and the woman we got them from, as pullets, did a horrible job of raising them. But the first hen is an Araucana and the second is not.

    We don't use pesticides anywhere.

    I saw the description of avian pox online but they haven't shown any of the other signs of this (yet). And, other than the cloudiness, their eyes look normal.

    I guess the best thing, right now, is to keep them out of that garden, even if that means no more free ranging until I fence it in again. If moldy bedding in the garden (no hay/straw) is the culprit, is there anything to be done about the hens that have been affected? Info or links (don't want to impose on you for too much research) would be appreciated!

    Thanks again!
     

  8. HorseFeatherz NV

    HorseFeatherz NV Eggink Chickens

    I am not sure if this will be helpful or not - I searched "cloudy eyes chickens" in the merck vet manual and came up with 282 results - but you might be able to narrow down the search with more key words/symptoms.

    http://www.merckvetmanual.com/mvm/index.jsp?cfile=htm/bc/204601.htm



    Maybe it is a result of the poor conditions they were raised in? Just took a while to manifest? (like a vitamin deficiency?) [​IMG]
     
  9. wewa

    wewa Hatching

    2
    0
    6
    Feb 16, 2014
    Anyone ever solve this?
    Been searching all day, and this post description sounds the closest to what I think might be happening to one of my hens yesterday.

    One of my 4 year old hens just went blind overnight.

    Her eyes are very clear and clean and no conjunctivitis.
    She is on Baytril.
    I did give her nutri-drench for some nutrition.

    She is in a mini-molt for a few weeks now, and her sister hen is doing fine.

    They all eat the same food, but I did change feed a few weeks ago, to a new bag of purina layer.

    So sad. I hope its temporary.

    Thank you.
     
  10. wewa

    wewa Hatching

    2
    0
    6
    Feb 16, 2014
    Someone just asked what if we figured out the blindness and the outcome of our hen.

    Quote:
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by