Eyes swollen in my rooster

by Ashley
(Corbin KY)

Question
The eyes swollen in my rooster. Yesterday my roosters were just fine, but today when I looked at them, both of their eyes were swollen shut.

They are completely blind but none of the other chickens are like this, just the roosters, I was wanting to know if they have some type of infection or disease or could it just be a result of them fighting?

Answer
It’s possible they could have been fighting, but for both of them to have swollen eyes like this at the same time seems a bit odd.

I would try to rinse their eyes with eye wash and see if there is sign of infection under the eye lids. Sometimes there can be infected matter holding the eyes shut.

Local feed stores or a vet carry antibiotic ointment for animal eyes. This can help fight off an infection.

It’s important to get them seeing again so they can eat and drink and roost.

Puffy eyes can also be a sign of an allergic reaction to something that got in or near their eyes, but again, it’s odd that only these two are affected and in such a similar way.

Spider bites can cause this, possibly even skunk spray, though you would have noticed the smell.

They may need an antihistamine to bring the swelling down, but you would need to talk to a vet and find out which one is safe for your boys and how much to give.

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My chicken is blind

Question
My chicken is blind: I have 15 chickens. One of my Wyandotte hens which I have had about a week was doing fine and had just layed her first egg.

Overnight she couldn't open her eyes and would not eat or drink. I separated her from the rest of the flock and tried for 3 days to get her to eat and drink.

I also put an antibiotic (terramycin) on her eyes; nothing helped. Finally, I tried to open her eye by hand an found that it was like the eyelids were grown shut.

After seeing that I felt she would never be able to see again so I put her down. I would love to know what was wrong with her to know if I did all I could do for her.

Someone has told me that I had my pen 10' x 15' closed up too tight with plastic and even though I clean up most of the waste almost every day that amonia build up could be my problem.

If this is so, why are the rest of my chickens doing fine?

Answer
Your pen is too small to accommodate 15 chickens in a healthy atmosphere. That is only 10 square feet per chicken and although some areas allow close confinement, it isn’t the best idea.

The ammonia and dust build up could have irritated the hen’s eyes to the point that she could not open them.

I can guarantee that the lids did not grow together. The plastic keeps the dander and dust in the chicken pen.

It is better to use a heater to keep the hens warm in the winter.

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Chicken falls and acts blind

by monica
(OR)

Question
My chicken falls and acts blind. I don't know what’s going on… help

Answer
I’m so sorry this is happening, but with so little to go on I would only be guessing.

Most important is to get this chicken away from other poultry, to help prevent the possible spread of disease.

Getting it to a vet that knows poultry and their diseases would be the best way to find out why this has happened.

Knowing so little about this chicken and its environment, I can only offer you a list of general possibilities that can affect any chicken:

  • Internal or external parasites stealing vital nutrients


  • Intestinal bacteria


  • Viral disease from the environment


  • Another chicken


  • Eating or drinking something poisonous


  • “Old age” related deterioration of health


  • Vitamin/mineral & and other nutrient deficiencies


  • Wound infection


  • Injury from another animal


  • It’s possible you may not be able to save this chicken, but it’s good to take precautions and try to help it.

    Offering a heat lamp, vitamin/electrolye product, coaxing it to eat and drink, may help.

    A thorough cleaning of the coop and nests, plus checking over any other chickens and poultry for signs of parasites, unusual behavior, and disease would be good flock management and may help you prevent others from becoming this sick.

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    My chicken cannot see

    by Karen
    (Horley, Surrey)

    Question
    My chicken cannot see: I have 3 chickens. One is an ISA warren (not ex battery) and is about 4 years old.

    Recently she has been unsteady and walks into things. I waved things in front of her eyes and it appears that she cannot see.

    I fed her some sweetcorn by hand and she ate it, but I had to hold it right under her beak. She has trouble drinking, seeming very uncoordinated.

    She also has very runny poo, seems like mainly water. The other two chickens are fine. Any idea what is wrong? I'd appreciate some advice. Thanks.

    Answer
    Blindness can be caused by vitamin deficiencies, which can lead to infections, disease and major physical dysfunctions. Some blindness is hereditary.

    So often chickens are bred for such short, highly productive lives, that genetic age related disease is rarely seen.

    I would recommend: Vitamins, live culture yogurt or a probiotic from the feed store and lots of TLC. I would hope it’s possible to save her sight and her life.

    There are so many essential vitamins, minerals, amino acids, fatty acids, proteins and other nutrients involved with healthy vision and not enough space here for a full study.

    She may have cataracts, or damage from poor blood flow or an injury you are unaware of.

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    Runny nose and crusted eyes

    Question
    Runny nose and crusted eyes: Two of my roosters have runny noses and crusted eyes one cant even open its eyes! What do I do?

    Answer
    This sounds like an upper respiratory infection. You should get a few items from the feed store: an antibiotic for upper respiratory, vitamin/electrolyte powder, and probiotics.

    It would be good to act quickly to keep them from getting too weak and sick. The vitamins will help their immune system and general health.

    Follow the directions and continue to support them and the flock regularly. There are many antibiotics available, pick the one you believe is best for their symptoms.

    Injectables are best, but not for everyone. The probiotic will help energize their digestive system in general, but helps during and after antibiotic treatment that may kill good digestive bacteria.

    You should separate them from the flock and provide a poultry heat lamp to help them through.

    I have no idea if this contagious, but it’s best to assume it is, and protect the rest of the flock until the boys are well again.

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    Infection around comb and eyes swollen shut

    by Joan
    (Canada)

    Question
    Infection around comb and eyes swollen shut. My hen has an area around each side of her comb that is infected.

    Her eyes are also swollen shut. She will drink the water that I offer but will not eat (has not eaten for 5 days).

    I have been giving her antibiotics orally for 5 days, and putting tetracycline ointment on her eyes as well as polysporin on the infected areas.

    I have also been using hot compresses on her head before applying the treatment. Her condition has not changed.

    She has no respiratory symptoms, and rests all of the time. I am concerned that she will not eat.

    I did syringe some cream of wheat into her a few days ago, then wondered if this was the right thing to do.

    Answer
    Never use hot compresses on an infected area, it can make matters worse. Use a cool compress to assist in taking the swelling down.

    The cool compress will also make her feel better as infections are hot. Be sure to gently clean the affected areas before applying the medications.

    Your hen may not like this but it is better for her. Syringe feeding should be a last resort.

    Try adding a bit of molasses to her food; that usually entices them to eat. If she does not get better soon, consult your veterinarian.

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    Chicken has runny eyes

    by Melinda Green
    (Anza, CA)

    Question
    Chicken has runny eyes: I have a six year old white silky hen. She is housed in a 10x20 kennel with 50 other hens her size or slightly larger.

    The total flock size is about 250 chickens. All divided and Housed in 10-10x10 kennels within a 100x80-8ft chain linked enclosure.

    The larger chickens roam free within this enclosure in day time hrs. The smaller chickens remain confined to the kennels.

    Each kennel contains wooden coops or plastic dog houses with pine shavings.

    Answer
    Wow! That’s quite a flock! All Silkies? I’m amazed that you noticed one with runny eyes, with so many. Good eye!

    I’m really not sure what you are describing in her eyes. Are they runny wet or runny with some kind of discharge?

    This could just be an irritation from dust, or even pollens. Silkies can have some interesting head feathers and she might even have some feathers that actually touch her eye balls.

    If it’s feathers it’s better to trim than pluck as it will take them longer to grow back. I would suggest getting an eye wash solution in a squeeze bottle and flushing her eyes out well.

    Take a good look and see if you notice any foreign matter or injury to her eyes or puffiness around the eyelids. Gently dry the area and apply an antibiotic eye salve and see if that helps.

    I’m sure with so many chickens you have a regular cleaning schedule. It’s possible her immune system isn’t quite right and she needs some TLC.

    She’s possibly over sensitive to something in the environment that isn’t bothering the others.

    If there is a thick discharge I would guess infection, possibly upper respiratory even. If just watery eyes more likely irritation.

    In either case she may need a good dosing of vitamins for a few days and a break from the masses till you figure this out for sure.

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