by Robin
(Meriden Ks)

Hello. I purchased 4 Cochin chicks locally 8 weeks ago. When scattering meal worms for treats I noticed they are pecking in front of their target! I tried milo and the same thing occurred. Should I cull these chicks? They are able to eat the grower feed without issue, as it is in a feeder. Thank you for any help


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by: Sharon

Interesting observation.

I think it's very possible their vision will either improve, stay the same, or get worse. Seems like more than a 50/50 chance of them leading a good visual life, possibly adapting to their abnormality, or they may grow out of it.

Personally, I wouldn't give up on them as it seems they are doing OK. I don't know what your plans are for them though. If these are intended as breeding stock, the problem is not something you want to forward to another generation. If they are just pets, then it's a different situation. (If they are good looking birds, colors you want to work with & not disabled, many breeders would just be sure to out-cross to totally unrelated stock & hope the best qualities resurface in the next generation.)

I would recommend researching the breed to see if this is a common problem. I know nothing about the breeder you purchased from. They could be inbreeding with problems they aren't aware of. Possibly out-crossing will correct the problem.

As a matter of curiosity it would be interesting to see if they improve and their aim is better, check their eyes and accuracy periodically for signs of changes or any blindness, but that may not be something you're into.

This is not a condition I've had to deal with. I've had Cochins, bantam & standard, but never seen this. Possibly others have.

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