Do Silkie Chickens Have Eyes? [Can They See Good?]

Silkie chickens are friendly and sweet, making them extraordinary and docile pets for everyone, especially families with kids. This is a chicken you won’t be able to resist cuddling, and lucky for us, silkies have such sweet personalities they won’t mind at all! But do silkie chickens have eyes, and how good is their eyesight?

Although you may not see silkie chickens’ eyes, they have them underneath all the feathers around their eyes. They have good eyesight, as their eyes are 10% the mass of their head, and they can see 300 degrees. However, a silkie’s feathers will become overgrown, causing its eyesight to be poor.

You may be surprised to hear how well a silkie chicken can see, and it may be a bigger surprise that you can help them maximize their sight potential. 

Keep reading to learn interesting facts about a silkie’s eyesight and how to trim around their eyes!

Silkie Chickens Eyesight Overview

Silkie chickens can not only see good; they can see very well! However, compared to other breeds, silkie chickens have poor eyesight solely due to their feathers that overgrow into their eyes. 

Let’s look at some interesting facts about a silkie chicken’s eyesight:

  • A silkie chicken can use each eye independently. Meaning it can focus on two different tasks simultaneously. This is a great thing for a silkie to have, as their small size can put them in danger of falling prey. They can feed and keep a close eye on their surroundings should there be any signs of danger.
  • Chickens have mono-vision, meaning they can only see from one eye at a time. This is because they turn themselves in their eggs, so their right eye is constantly exposed to light coming through the shell, while the left eye doesn’t get as much light.
  • A silkie chicken’s eyes are approximately 10% of its entire head’s mass.
  • A silkie’s eyes are highly sensitive, so they can see the slightest fluctuations of light that are invisible to human beings. Due to being so sensitive to light, silkie chickens can often become irritated or aggravated under fluorescent lighting, as they see it as strobe lights.
  • Chickens can see 300 degrees around, as their eyes are on the sides of their heads.
  • Silkie chickens are tetrachromatic, which means they have four different types of cones. This allows them to see green, blue, and red light, including ultraviolet light. Therefore, your silkie chickens can see more shades and colors than you!
  • Silkie chickens also have an additional double-cone structure in their eyes, which helps them to track movement.
  • Silkie chickens can sense the absence and presence of light thanks to the pineal gland in their heads, so if your Silkie is blind, they will still be able to sense when it’s daytime, nighttime, and when the seasons change.
  • Silkie chickens also have a third eyelid known as the nictating membrane, which will slide horizontally over the eye to protect it from direct contact with debris and dust.
  • Silkies do not have good night vision, but their excellent eyesight during the day makes up for it!

How To Trim Around Your Silkie Chicken’s Eyes

As mentioned above, silkies may have poor eyesight due to their feathery crests and facial features growing to obscure their eyes. 

They may need extra help and care from you to help them see as good as ever! However, you need to take extra caution and be careful, as you will work very close to their eyes. 

Let’s look at how easy it can be to trim those pesky feathers growing around and into their eyes:

Get The Tools You Need For Trimming

Before you can start trimming around your silkie chicken’s eyes, you must get the correct tools. You will need a household scissor or small garden shears for precise cuts.

Pick Your Silkie Up Correctly And Calm

Remember, if you don’t remain calm, your silkie chicken will sense it and tense up. The most calming way to hold any chicken would be to scoop them up from the front, keeping one or two of your fingers between their legs and one outside each leg. 

This way, their chest will lay in your palm, with their legs dangling through your fingers. Chickens will remain calm when you handle them this way, and you should never pick them up from behind and pin their wings close to their bodies. 

As silkie chickens love affection and interaction, this cradling action will not feel like they are in danger. This will also keep them from injuring themselves if they try to get away or wiggle themselves free.

 If they become tense or uncomfortable, you can squeeze your fingers gently around their legs, keeping them in place. Once they realize they cannot escape, they will remain docile, allowing you to start trimming.

Start Trimming Around Your Silkie’s Eyes

If your silkie chicken remains still and in place, you can trim gently, starting with the longest feathers. Never cut too close to their skin, as you may hurt them or damage an eye. 

Go all along the shape of their eye, avoiding working too close. If some feathers seem too short, you can wait a week or two for them to grow longer and repeat the trimming process.

Many Silkie breeders make trimming easier by putting the rest of their Silkie’s head feathers up in a rubber band or hair band. This will allow for more precise work, and you will see better where you should and should not trim their feathers.

Final Word

Silkie chickens have excellent vision, as you’ll see when watching them eat, forage, or go about their day-to-day. However, their unique facial features and feathery crests may make it difficult for them to see the world around them. 

Trimming the feathers around their eyes can help your Silkie see better and make sure they are comfortable. Make sure to take extra care when trimming around their eyes and use the correct tools for the job. 

You must know how to trim the feathers around their eyes, as it will significantly help them be more alert and more comfortable!

Trimming your silkie chicken’s feathers around the eyes regularly will help them maintain their eye health and live a long, happy life!

Related Articles