We'd appreciate good advice about how to more-effectively treat a particular eye injury or infection. We've been treating a closed & swollen hen's eye with erythromicin (broad spectrum antibiotic) ophthalmic ointment 4x daily for two days now. The purpose of the ointment is to kill primary and secondary infections superficially (i.e. on the surface of the cornea) and give good conditions for healing. However, the ointment does not penetrate the tissues in the orbital complex. The eye is still very swollen and clammed shut. Before we got hold of the ointment we were gently cleaning the outside of the eye with warm water, and then applying sterile clay as a poultice (without a dressing). There is no sign of external injury. We'd like to learn of ways to get a systemic antibiotic for her - affordably. Are there, for example, readily available antibiotics that we could put in the hen's drinking water? We cannot afford to go to a vet; but we might be able to get a qualified friend to write a prescription for an affordable generic medication from a pharmacy. We don't think the antibiotic ointment is effective at getting to the injury/infection. We pry the lower eye lid downward and gently transfer a little of the ointment from a Q-tip into the gap. However, the gap is tiny, and also the eye is watery beneath the lids (although the eye is not runny when closed) and therefore the ointment does not get very far into the eye socket. Is there a better way to get the ointment into the eye socket. We think there is no way no how for us to pack the ointment under the lid using the Q-tip without damaging the eye and associated tissues. By the way, when we pry the lid open we do not see the cornea. Instead we see a white surface - which we're hoping is the nictating membrane, i.e. the "third eyelid"; and we're hoping it is not a clouded cornea. This episode started about a week ago when we noticed that the right eye of one of our three hens - all of them are pearl white leghorns, about 18 months old - is clammed shut. We don't know whether the cause is an infection or injury. We let the birds range free during the daylight hours. The two other hens and the rooster are perfectly healthy. [At the time we noticed the shut eye, we found that the hen's poop was runny and yellow and smelled strongly like ammonia - but I think that was a coincidence (and possibly something like squash that she ate) because her poop is normal now.] Since finding the closed eye, we've kept her sequestered full-time in a small cage on her own - for her protection against predators etc while half of her field-of-view is not working.