Blindness due to retinal dysplasia in broiler chicks

H L Shivaprasad, Ruediger Korbel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Thirty-three live 9-day-old broiler chicks were submitted for laboratory evaluation because of blindness. Blindness was observed in up to 1% of 25,000 birds from four different houses. All the chicks were from the same breeder source. Blindness was apparent when the chicks were 2-3 days old. Clinically, the blind chicks were smaller than their counterparts, were unable to find feed and water, and wandered aimlessly. Necropsy did not reveal any lesions. Two chicks examined clinically at 14 days of age lacked pupillary reflexes after light stimulation, and the anterior and posterior segments of the eye were normal. Microscopically, degeneration of photoreceptor cells characterized by vacuoles was evident at 9 days of age, and rosette formation of the retina, disorganization of retinal layers, synechia of the retina with mild inflammation in the choroid, and proliferation of the retinal pigment epithelial cells were evident by 15 days of age. Because the chicks came from the same breeder source and the incidence of blindness was low, a probable genetic etiology is suspected as the cause of blindness in this flock.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)769-773
Number of pages5
JournalAvian Diseases
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 2003


  • Birds
  • Eye
  • Genetic disease
  • Pathology
  • Poultry
  • Special senses

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology
  • Cancer Research
  • veterinary(all)


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