Sudden blindness in my hen

by littledairygoats@yahoo.com
(Seattle Washington)

Question
Why is there sudden blindness in my hen? She is 2-3 years old, Golden Laced Wyandotte hen who is active, eats and drinks and obviously can't see.

She has swollen ears. Her eyes are a little sunken. Otherwise she appears healthy. Any idea what this could be?

Answer
This sounds like an ear infection that has spread to her eyes. Since she is eating and drinking, I’m thinking she isn’t totally blind.

Chickens have poor sense of smell. I would suggest placing her in a cage or small pen and finding an antibiotic for bacterial infection.

In her condition she doesn’t need to compete for food and may get picked on by the rest of the flock.

I would support her with probiotics as well to keep her digestion healthy during and after antibiotic treatment.

It’s probably a good idea to get your flock on a vitamin schedule to help their immune systems be as healthy as possible.

Fresh air, sunshine, exercise and good forage are important as well.

You may need to give a richer feed during the molt and winter months to keep the flock healthy as possible. I hope you can help her through this.

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Bubbles and flesh from eyes

by Nadine
(Dalby, Qld, Australia)

Question
Bubbles and flesh from eyes: My hen is about 4 months old an she has flesh coming out of her eyes it all started with little bubbles that surrounded her eyes!

I don’t know what disease is, but it not long started I have her on Antibiotics locked up in a small cage. Do you know what the disease is?

What antibiotics should I use? I also have about 30 other chooks kept away from the diseased one.

Answer
This sounds like symptoms of Coryza. Keep her warm with a heat lamp and on a good antibiotic for respiratory infection.

Coax her to eat and drink as she needs the energy. Giving a vitamin/electrolyte product can help boost her immune system and energy level, and chances to survive.

Reportedly Baytril is best and Terramycin also a good choice; injection or drenching is the most effective delivery.

This disease is air borne, water borne, feces borne, so a thorough disinfecting of coop, roosts, nests…anywhere this infected hen has been, can minimize the effects on the rest of your flock. There is a vaccination against this disease.

You would need and should get an accurate diagnosis from a veterinarian, familiar with poultry, since you have so many other chooks to be concerned for.

You may be advised not to return her to the flock. This disease does not affect eggs, but giving antibiotics does.

Helping restore good digestive bacteria with a probiotic would be helpful to this sick chook since you are treating with antibiotic.

Antibiotics can kill off good digestive bacteria, especially when given orally, probiotics replace them.

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Watery foamy eyes

by Candy
(Azusa, CA)

Question
Watery foamy eyes: Help. Chicken has watery eyes. It actually looked like foamy bubble. Her head, especially around eyes is hot...

Answer
I only know of one disease that causes the foamy eyes. It’s called “Coryza”

This is not good news for this chicken or your flock. This is a highly contagious disease, so you must take precautions for other poultry, by isolating sick chickens.

This is a bacterial disease that may respond to antibiotics, Sulmet is one. Once in your flock it can be passed to others.

Some can carry the disease silently, never showing signs. It may be necessary to remove all poultry.

After cleaning and disinfecting the coop and chicken area it takes 30 – 60 days for the disease to be eradicated with no living hosts present to carry it and pass it on.

It may be possible to treat the flock with antibiotics, in hopes of eliminating signs and preventing others from becoming ill.

New poultry shouldn’t be added, nor new chicks raised in the area until you are certain the threat is gone.

Once your flock is exposed any can become carriers. If you can find a good chicken vet, they can help you diagnose.

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Bubbles on chicken

by Joe
(Fayetville)

Question
Why does my hen have bubbles on its eye and how do I stop it?

Answer
I know of only one disease that causes these bubbles. I can’t tell you for sure if it’s what you are seeing, but it could be a disease called Coryza, which requires specific antibiotics to treat.

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There is no cure for it. A chicken that contracts this disease and survives will be a carrier all its life.

This is a contagious disease and this one should be separated from the flock to prevent the spread.

Once in your flock there is the possibility any chicken can come down with the symptoms, so it would be the best idea to find out from a veterinarian if this is or is not Coryza, for sure.

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