Year old Hen suddenly blind

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by HuskerHens18, Mar 13, 2018.

  1. So about two days ago I noticed my "mystery breed" hen's eyelids looked slightly puffy, but she isn't friendly enough to let me get a close look. She was outside eating and drinking, acting TOTALLY normal. So I blew it off that maybe she got pecked in the eye.

    TODAY I let my chickens out and she was the last one to the door, (we have a raised chicken coop) she sat on the edge of the door and appeared to be afraid to get down. Her head was doing weird movements, it's hard to explain but it was like her head wasn't coordinated with her body very well.
    I sat and watched her slowly pace and act nervous for about ten minutes, finally I walked over to her and she was completely fine with me approaching and holding her(which was odd to me, she's normally not this friendly)
    I looked in her eyes and they were cloudy! Both eyes! This happened in about 48 hours. This evening I went to get her (I had her in an outside pen to protect her) and her eyes looked worse, more cloudy than this morning and now she cannot locate her feeder/waterer.
    She does not feel thinner than the rest, but then again this JUST happened.
    Then I was looking at my other hens and one of my Jersey Giants has a swollen lump in front of her left eye, but it is NOT cloudy and the other eye is perfectly fine. Everyone else appears normal.
    I cleaned out the coop last week, but when I peeked in there today it started to smell already. Could there be dangerous ammonia build up this fast? Could that be what's caused this sudden issue? Or do I have a disease in the coop?
    Any help will be greatly appreciated! I have a chicken Vet about an hour away, but he's hard to get in to. I would PREFER to treat this at home if possible, but I CAN take her/them to the vet if it's required.
    I TRIED getting pictures, but nothing shows up on camera so I deleted the pictures.
    Really I just would like to know if anyone knows what this is and what can cause it, and can I fix her. Thank you in advance! :)
  2. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Enabler

    Apr 3, 2011
    southern Ohio
    It could be an eye infection or cataracts, but it sounds like it could be infection from pecking, or a respiratory disease. Does your coop smell of ammonia from droppings? That can cause eye injury from ulceration. There can be many reasons for blindness in chickens, including vitamin A or E deficiency, cataracts, eye infection or trauma, certain diseases such as avian encephalomelitis (AE,) or Mareks disease. I would clean eyes with saline or warm soaks, and apply Terramycin eye ointment twice daily.
    Make sure that the chicken is in a smaller area with food and water that she can find easily. Sorry about your hen.
    Wyorp Rock and HuskerHens18 like this.
  3. There is a little smell in the coop, even though I just cleaned it. I noticed the smell when I walked in today. Thank you so much, I will start washing her ASAP. I just pulled out an old rabbit cage (a long one) I will put her in there. And I'll clean out the chicken coop again.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: