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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Pet
Satisfied Customers: 30296
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience
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Closes her eye, One of our hens is just standing around with

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closes her eye
JA: I'm sorry to hear that. What is the bird's name and age?
Customer: One of our hens is just standing around with her eyes closed, she is about 8 months and looks miserable.
JA: What is the bird's name?
Customer: She doesn't have a name other than chookie
JA: Got it. I'm sure you'll come up with a good name.
Customer: Her name is ***** ***** problem but the fact that she is just standing around around looking miserable and closing her eyes is a worry. What could be wrong?
JA: Is there anything else the Veterinarian should be aware of about not?
Customer: No

You're speaking to Dr. Michael Salkin. Welcome to JustAnswer. I'm currently typing up my reply.

Valerie, I'm sorry that your question wasn't answered in a timely manner. We don't have many avian vets on this site.

I'm sorry that your question wasn't answered in a timely manner. We don't have many avian vets on this site. Unfortunately, your hen's behavior can indicate any number of illnesses or health issues in chickens. In avian medicine, there's rarely one cause of such a presentation, so we usually begin with a list of differential diagnoses and use lab tests, X-rays, and physical exams to differentiate one from another. Necropsy of a newly dead or a sacrificed severely ill bird then refrigerated (not frozen) can be an important diagnostic particularly in large flocks. Should this be the case, your best course of action is to reach out to your county-extension poultry personnel or avian-oriented veterinarian (please see here: for help in arranging a necropsy.

It's best to approach the diagnostic process with a clear sense of her financial value to your operation. Although some services such as your county animal disease diagnostic laboratory might be available free of charge through a county agency or land-grant extension office, the expense of some diagnostic tests and treatments can add up quickly. While it’s always worth your time and money to identify a bacterial or viral infection that could potentially impact more than one member of the flock, this might not be the case with a condition that only affects one hen. It frustrates me that I can't be more specific for you but such is the dilemma of poultry owners and vets alike.

If you don't have an avian vet available to you, presumptive treatment with a broad spectrum antibiotic such as tylosin (Tylan-50) dosed at 20-30 mg/lb once daily intramuscularly into a breast muscle or the injectable solution can be given orally (but it's quite distasteful) for 5-7 days is reasonable. I don't believe that you have access to such antibiotics in Australia, however, but you might be able to find this online. It's best to bring her inside as shown here:

Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.

Dr. Michael Salkin and 2 other Pet Specialists are ready to help you
Hi Valerie,
I'm just following up on our conversation about your pet. How is everything going?