New to chickens. First blizzard yesterday. One of the 4 now has a clear, bubbly eye. Not swollen or goopy. Roughly 35 weeks old. What should I do? Will rinsing with normal saline help?


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by: Sharon

Bubbly eye discharge is often a sign of Infectious Coryza. Severe weather conditions can bring on symptoms of a disease that has been kept in check by the chicken's immune system.

I would not leave this individual with the flock, but place it in isolation and support with heat, vitamins, no stress, and of course easy access to food and water.

Chickens can be silent carriers of this and other diseases - meaning the virus is present, but there are no symptoms or signs of illness.

If one in this group is a carrier, then others might be as well. You may need to support them with supplemental heat and vitamins to prevent further symptoms from arising in the flock.

I'm not giving you a diagnosis, just a possible cause for this bubbly eye condition. Flushing the eyes may temporarily remove the bubbles, but generally there is a respiratory infection going on. The bubbles will likely reappear right away. Giving antibiotics may or may not help.

Chickens that can recover from this stage of a virus will become immune, but will possibly continue to be a carrier. If you got all in this flock from the same source, there may be a problem with the flock they came from.

As I said, this is not a diagnosis, just a possible reason for what you are seeing. Isolation of sick individuals can prevent others from catching a disease, so is an important aspect of managing your flock.

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