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Eye Injuries

Eye Trauma

Chickens occasionally develop eye injuries. Usually injuries are the result of conflict with another flock member, self-inflected injury from sharp toenails, exposure to sharp objects, or from heavy winds blowing sand or other abrasive material in their eye. Prompt, aggressive treatment is required in order to prevent loss of vision or the eye.

Symptoms

Eye discharge
Swelling
Eye redness
Tightly closed eyelids

Diagnosis

  • History
  • Clinical signs
  • Eye Exam

Treatment

MethodDetails
Ophthalmic drops or ointments (topical aminoglycoside antibiotics)Administered into the affected eye(s)
AntibioticsMay be needed to avoid secondary infections, especially in ruptured eyes.

Prevention

  • Provide shelter that is large enough for all flock members to go in during strong storm events, as high wind can increase the risk of sand and other substrate particles blowing in the birds eyes.
  • Do not allow large concentrations of dust to accumulate in chicken coops, dust regularly (however making sure that no chickens are present in the area while dusting or sweeping).
  • Be mindful when mowing the lawn or when using landscaping tools while in the vicinity of the chickens.

Scientific References

Blogs

Risk Factors

  • Overcrowding
  • Windy days
  • Mowing the lawn and use of landscaping equipment
  • High accumulations of dust