Suddenly blind rooster (long)

Pelzer, SC(Zone 7b)

Just wondering if anyone has had any experience with this. Monday afternoon, I noticed two hens on the wrong side of the fence, so went to retrieve them, and find the rest of their little band. Found all but one rooster. Couldn't find him in any of the "regular" places, but they do have lots of room to roam. Figured I'd check again before bedtime, as he's usually the first one in. Didn't show up. Put everyone else in, and went hunting, for feathers if nothing else:(. Well, I found him by the fence, but inside. Just sitting there. He let me pick him up without protest, but he's always been laid-back. Still, I knew something was wrong. Put him in a different coop, with shelves instead of bar roosts. The next day he was down on the floor, walking around, but bumping into the screening for the duck section, and sitting in corners/nests. Realized his vision was at least partially gone. Blocked him in, and started antibiotics, since I had no idea what else to do. That night he was back up on the shelf, so he must have some vision, I guess. Wasn't eating or drinking that I could see, just walked over everything. Brought him into the Hospital Unit (a carrier in my bathrooom :). He began to drink, and finally eat. He crows (oh, swell) but his cue seems to be noise rather than light. Put him outside yesterday (in a big crate) afternoon for some sun, but he just sat there. Some of the other chickens did come scratch around him, but he seemed oblivious.
His eyes look odd, not whiteish, but the center (behind the cornea and inside the iris, where it should be black) looks "solid", if that makes any sense.

Any thoughts?



Bridgewater, ME

I have none but hope someone has an answer for you,poor guy.I just done a google search one thing is eyeworms another ocular mereks.Do a google search and maybe you can come up with something.

This message was edited Dec 3, 2011 11:22 AM

Pelzer, SC(Zone 7b)

Thanks, Green, I have been. I guess I'm hoping there are other things it could be. His brother/hatchmate got Mareks' (but range paralysis type) at about 8 weeks, but none of the rest of the early April hatch showed any symptoms. I am afraid that's what it is, but have kept it in mind.
Thanks:)

Bridgewater, ME

I know its sad,I have a rooster that may have had it,he is young and very handsome,his was lameness he is comming out of it but slowly and don`t know if he will ever be the same.The only thing with doing searches is that you come up with differant things that they might have and you could drive yourself crazy wondering if that is what it is.Try giving him poly-vi-sol baby vit. without the iron,mine seemed to perk up some when I gave that to him.Mixed in his yogurt,I used three drops for a few days,you could try it on bread or whatever he really likes.It can`t hurt

(Zone 6b)

Sorry to hear of this. Hope he gets well.

Richmond, TX

The pullet that I had who got Marek's with eye involvement, held her eye closed or half closed. The only chickens in my flock that have ever gotten Marek's have been Jersey Giants - usually at about 6 months of age.
I wish I had an answer but all I can suggest is TLC and time.

(Zone 6b)

Guess I've never seen Merek's Disease, thank God. Sounds terrible. Can you carry it on your clothing? I sure want to go to the Poultry Show in OK this weekend. Should I be concerned I could bring it home with me?

(Zone 6b)

Did you see this picture of a normal chicken's eye and one with Merek's? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marek's_disease

Pelzer, SC(Zone 7b)

Thanks, guys. He doesn't seem to fit the descriptions I'm finding for ocular Marek's. Or, anything else specific. For now he'll stay a Bathroom Boy with afternoon outings. When he seems ready, he'll get his own pen and house, and maybe a hen to keep him company.
He is, of course, a favorite.

Richmond, TX

I had a blind chicken who did quite well in with the flock. She tended to stay indoors or venture out only a few feet into the yard. She had a friend who usually stayed with her. I wouldn't give up on him - he may regain his sight.

Pelzer, SC(Zone 7b)

Now porkpal, you know better ;) He's in no danger. I'm now planning his new home, and deciding which hen(s) will get to join his little harem.
The inside rooster thing is a bit noisy at 5 am, so plan must proceed quickly...

Lodi, CA(Zone 9b)

Well, after having one that just got over Mereck's, it's probably a far stretch for him to not get it...

Richmond, TX

Oddly although I have had several episodes of Marek's disease, I've never had more than one bird affected each time. It seems to be selectively contagious.

Pelzer, SC(Zone 7b)

ZZ, the hatchmate was back in July, not recent. That's what helps confuse me. Even back then, no-one else showed symptoms, and they all lived in the same box.

Green, my July infected roo is now fine, as far as I can tell, so I hope yours will be as well.

porkpal, that's how it seems here, too, at least at one time.The first little roo was the only one who showed symptoms, and that was months ago. No-one else, but even if it were due to a long incubation period, I'd expect more chickens to be affected. Not that this ISN"T Marek's, I'm just wondering why this one. Of course, I'm hoping it's not going to spread thru the flock. The other roo that I think had it, is an older gentlemen, from an auction, and none of his hens have ever showed symptoms. I don't find lots of research on Marek's survivors, or regarding exposed flocks and infection rates.
I'll keep looking.

Richmond, TX

If your guy is still alive I would bet that he is going to beat whatever it is.

Vancleave, MS(Zone 8b)

hope he is improving. Sorry to hear of his illness. we get so attached to our chickens

Pelzer, SC(Zone 7b)

He's still with me, and maybe improving :). I want to get him outside so he can move around, but the weather has been lousy. Still, he seems happy enough in his little box (for now) knows where the food and water is, and scratches happily at the pile of food. He crows very well, thank you....

Richmond, TX

Sounds hopeful!

Pelzer, SC(Zone 7b)

I really don't know if he's better, but he doesn't seem to be worse.
I'll update occasionally, in case anyone's still watching:)

Thanks!

Eatonton, GA(Zone 8b)

Oh yes, please do!! Ive not been able to keep up everyday, but I get here sooner or later ! please keep us informed! Ive never had any Mareks here either,been lucky on that account. Hopefully you dear little roo will get better soon! E.

(Zone 6b)

Fool that I probably am, I bought a pair of bantam araucana. They have lice or mites and arrived with a terrible odor. Has anyone else noticed that some sick chickens have a horrible odor? They seem to be healthy other than the mites/lice. Several years ago I bought a pair of silkies that I knew were sick and bought them anyway. They also had a BAD odor.

I bathed them both, so now I guess the kill the lice regime begins. At least now I have Ivermectin and know that about four drops works for bantams. I'm slow, but learning.

It is hard to be excited about these birds now. Maybe when they are cleaned up it'll get better.

They are little rascals for sure. My silkies, you can open the box when they arrive and they stay in the box since they don't fly. Well, when I got these I opened the box to give them some air and be able to see them. Got out of the car and got back in a short time later. Looked in the box, no chickens. My first thought was, "Someone has stolen my chickens!" Looked in the backseat and they were laying as low as they could like a couple of escaped cons. Just adorable. The next day when I washed the rooster, the hen flew up and sat on the handle of an iron skillet close by. Guess she wanted to watch. She stayed there until it was her turn to be bathed.

Pelzer, SC(Zone 7b)

Well, (knock on wood) he seems to be adjusting. I don't think he sees any better, but he is acting more like a chicken. He was pretty comfortable in his carrier, and ate and drank, but when I put him outside in a small pen, he just kind of hunkered down and waited for the end. He stayed in all day Wednesday, because the weather was lousy, but yesterday I put him back in the sun. He gradually began to scratch around, and drink his water rather than step in it. The other loose chickens scratched beside him, albeit on the other side of the "fence".
His Crowing Mechanism is fully functional.
sigh

Richmond, TX

It sounds as if his self-esteem is still intact.

Pelzer, SC(Zone 7b)

I guess so *G*. If he can get along, I'll build him his own compound. There's an Ameracauna hen that's very timid, so I think she'll be a good companion. If I can catch her...

Pelzer, SC(Zone 7b)

Well, I'm beginning to think he can at least see _something_. I'm going to try letting him loose in the backyard (with me in attendace) and see how he does. I also want to see how well he interacts with the other chickens. Maybe he'll just be a Yardbird during the day, and be carried into the regular coop at night. I'm hand roosting 6 now, what's one more *G*.

Richmond, TX

Good luck to him!

Pelzer, SC(Zone 7b)

:)
Thanks

Lodi, CA(Zone 9b)

I'm glad he's hangin in there.. sounds better to me! :)

Pelzer, SC(Zone 7b)

(crossing fingers and toes) He put himself to bed last night, and actually made the top perch. During the day he left the "safe" place (yeah right) I had put him, and I finally found him behind a board in the shed. Don't know if he went in by himself and got lost (it's darkish) or was chased in and hiding. He does seem to "see" the scratch when I throw it, but he could be just ing it fall, I guess. Or maybe he's part bat, and sonar locates...
Will see how he is when I let him out this am.
Oh. Later than I thought.
Going to release the Birds...

Bridgewater, ME

Been following this hope he is ok

Pelzer, SC(Zone 7b)

Thanks Green
He's not really intergrating back in with the others, he's staying in the night coop. It's a good choice for him, I think. There's food, water, and he can get away from anyone trying to get him, as there are corners and "unders" that protect most of him. I am getting my exercise going and checking on him *G*.

Pelzer, SC(Zone 7b)

It's been a while, so thought I'd update y'all.
He's doing well. Now comes out of his "safe" coop for much of the day. He's still first in at night, except for the hen who "lives" in there. She thinks she's setting, he thinks she's marvelous, as she doesn't run away....
I'm not at all sure how much he actually "sees", but he does seem to react to movement.
Taught me that my "never give up without a fight" philosophy sometimes pays off.
:)).

Richmond, TX

Happy ending!

Bridgewater, ME

I have that never give up thing to,sometimes it pays off.

Pelzer, SC(Zone 7b)

*G*. He's clearing 4.5' fences, and chasing the girls:)

Bridgewater, ME

Well, if he is chasing the girls he must be able to see them,LOL

Pelzer, SC(Zone 7b)

Just thought I'd send a final update. Last night I realized that he's pretty much "normal" as far as behaviour goes. He still startles easily, and obviously doesn't have great vision, but he's traveling :).

So, it was worth it...

(hoping it's the right picture)

Thumbnail by catmad
Pelzer, SC(Zone 7b)

Oh, rats. Right picture, but his eye is obscurred :(. I'll just have to tell you that they look fairly normal, although close examination will show that somethings not quite right.

Seems good enough for him...

Richmond, TX

Quite a striking fellow! I'm glad he's doing so well.

Bridgewater, ME

Glad to hear it

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