Chicken Lives Matter Series, chickens

The Eyes Have It

Day 15- Blog 31 Day Event- 

The Eyes Have It- Chicken Eyes Matter

Chickens rely on their sense of sight in order to live and most assuredly if they free range or if they live in the wild. There are atleast 15 free range chickens on my dad’s land and really they are neighborhood chickens. No one claims to own them and no one feeds them. They truly live off the land. These wild birds must live by their wit and part of their keen living is that of having incredible eyesight.

Chickens can snatch a gnat out of the air in less than a nano-second. They can peck up an insect from the ground among a pile of leaves and debris. They have the ability to forage the forest with ease using their keen eyesight and beak. Due to the chicken’s quick eye sign, they have excellent motion sensing

Chickens have 3 eye lids; an upper lid, lower lid and a covering eye lid. Just as a human has a cornea, a chicken does also. It is clear and covers the iris and pupil of the eye. A chicken’s pupil is also like a humans in that it is the center black circle in the middle of the eye. With chicken’s eyesight the light enters the corner and iris and stimulates the retina nerve endings in the back of the eyeball. Chickens have tetra-chromatic vision. Humans have tri-chromatic vision. The Iris is the area of a chicken’s eye that has color.

Chicken’s have keen and sharp eyesight. As a result, they are often find themselves spooks by the quick movement of something. This is why a flock of chickens might run quickly towards their coops if they catch an eyeful of something moving quickly across the sky. This keen eyesight was an adaptation given by God in order to help chickens ward off predators. Many a life has been saved by being quick to find cover or run to safety.

Chickens do not roll their eyes. I fact if you are around chickens often enough, you will see their 3rd eye or eye-covering open and close periodically. Very often when they sleep they might close that part of their eye and when chickens are sick that eye often can be seen. Unlike a human, the outside eye lid of a chicken does not blink and chickens do not blink like traditional animal’s eyes.

Chickens do not see well far away nor do they see well at night. As a chicken keeper, I have seen my hens run into a deep corner after dark and appear totally discombobulated. That is why chickens are wired to go into their safe space at dusk.

Chicken Lives Matter



References: Mike The Chicken Vet , Dummies-Poor Sigh and Sore Eyes in Chickens, by Julie Gauthier and Rob Ludlow,

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