Friday, September 03, 2010

Need chicken medical advice!

Chicken friends, I need advice! I just let the girls out to free-range, and I noticed that Anastasia was a bit subdued, hunkered down under some shrubs. It is stinking hot again today (33C plus humidity) so at first I thought she was just hot. But apparently something has happened to her eye (click on photos if you want them even bigger!):

Her bottom lid is closed up over her eye, although occasionally she opens it for a quick peek around. I can't see any obvious damage, and there is no pus or discharge. I opened up the lid and had a look at her eyeball, and it looked clear and normal to me (but obviously I'm not vet AND I could have missed something.) I don't see any respiratory symptoms (no sneezing, mucus, nothing; her breathing sounds normal, i.e. I can't hear it!). SHe is definitely subdued but when I offered up a bowl of birdseed to everyone (just a treat), she was right in there, eating happily. In fact, she ran up to me when she saw the bowl.

I'm guessing maybe it's some sort of injury, perhaps from pecking, but I can't see any blood, nothing!

Here's her good side.

Any advice? Should I isolate her? Bathe the eye? I'd like to avoid an after-hours call to a chicken vet if possible.

Thanks for any advice. If you need any more info, leave me a comment. Poor Anastasia!

PS: This seems to have come on fairly rapidly. I looked at the pics of her that I took last Sunday and she looked just fine. As far as I can recall, she was fine yesterday too!


  1. Hi Knatolee - Her eye looks good, just closed! That's a tough one to figure out!

    I have this awesome antibiotic eye ointment that I got when I had several strabismus eye surguries - I had both my eyes operated on a few years ago - twice in two years! I had stitches in my eyeballs after the surguries - not a nice thing. It was Neomycin and Polymyxin B Sulfates and Dexamethasone Opthalmic Ointment. It was so soothing and really helped my eyes to heal quickly, so I know it could help a chicken's eyes. I have about a half dozen partially used tubes still. Every now & then one of our birds gets a hurt eye from a pecking incident, so I donated one of my tubes to them. I put some of it in the affected eye at night time. The next day it usually is healed, if not I repeat a second night.

    Also once a cat had an eyeball scratched by another cat, the vet gave me some of the same ointment. It's good stuff. I hope you can find it or something similar.


  2. I recently had a chicken with a closed up eye. It looked worse than your hens. After a few days of me doing nothing (the hen is a skittish one and I didn't want to stress her), she was fine.

  3. She must have some scratch or irritation that is so small I can't see it. I just checked on her this morning and she's the same, but fairly perky. She did briefly open the eye to give me a look, then shut it again. Gordon is going to go to the drugstore to see if there is any OTC ointment or drops he can get for her and I'll see how she does over the weekend. I used to have some antibiotic eye stuff for the cats, but of course I tossed it ages ago. Sigh!

    Thanks, both of you, for the advice. If she's not better by MOnday, I'll call the vet for advice.

  4. my rooster has something similar but not as thick though its hard to tell cause he also has fowl pox right now too and that eye is swollen i'm kina worried he will be blind in that eye do u guys have any suggests

  5. I used over-the-counter antibiotic drops and that seemed to help!

  6. Did the eye resolve? My pullet has same problem now - for about 4-5 days. Using neosporin ointment. Let me know. (I know it was a few years ago - saw your post googling for answers!)

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Thank you for all your comments, which I love to read!