Chickens used to be fitted with tiny glasses to prevent eye-pecking and cannibalism. Rose-colored glasses were especially popular as they were thought to prevent chickens from seeing blood and becoming enraged.

Chicken eyeglasses

1911 newspaper story on chicken eyeglasses from the Spirit Lake Beacon (Iowa)

Chicken eyeglasses, also known as chickens specs, chicken goggles, generically as pick guards and under other names, were small eyeglasses made for chickens intended to prevent feather pecking and cannibalism. They differ from blinders as they allowed the bird to see forward whereas blinders do not. One variety used rose-colored lenses as the coloring was thought to prevent a chicken wearing them from recognizing blood on other chickens which may increase the tendency for abnormal injurious behavior. They were mass-produced and sold throughout the United States as early as the beginning of the 20th century.

Description and purpose

Chicken eyeglasses we… Continue Reading (4 minute read)

15 thoughts on “Chickens used to be fitted with tiny glasses to prevent eye-pecking and cannibalism. Rose-colored glasses were especially popular as they were thought to prevent chickens from seeing blood and becoming enraged.”

  1. Etsuyu

    Nowadays we have red heat lamp bulbs that we use to curb this problem. A lot easier than chasing down each chicken to put little glasses on them.

  2. kiwikiwio

    They still make something similar, called chicken blinders. They look like little pairs of sunglasses but are solid plastic, so they can’t see to peck what’s in front of them, supposed to help with pecking/bullying and egg eating. Supposedly they can still eat because they can see out the sides and where piles of food are. Google it, the pictures are hilarious. Some people will attach googly eyes to them.

  3. dewisri

    I wonder if that’s the reason that the chicken who fell in love with Foghorn Leghorn wore glasses.

  4. RichardStinks

    Instead they just clip off the ends of their beaks to blunt them. It’s cheaper.

  5. blahblahunderscore

    …..do chickens become enraged at the sight of blood? literally never heard that in my life

  6. monkey-2020

    We did this on my dad’s farm until about 1965.

  7. t3st3d4TB

    Still do it with farmed pheasants, think the bobcat to your house kitty, but solid plastic blinders that are threaded through the nostrils at hatching…kinda like the gun that puts price tags in clothes. This is how you can spot a stocked or wild-born pheasant…but they can fend for themselves hunt is still fun and will breed for next year. If you fish your pond you have to stock your pond.

    The fun part is clipping the blinders for the drive away from the farm. There is blood involved and rarely the damn birds’.

  8. Shockingelectrician

    Are chickens that ruthless?

  9. mymomdrovemehere

    Storage Wars! Barry had found some of these, had them checked out and explained well.

  10. Penquinsrule83

    I had no idea chickens were such assholes.

  11. mindyk5

    Inhumane conditions cause the pecking problem. If chickens have adequate space it is extremely rare. You can verify this in Joal Salatin’s book: Pasture Poultry Profits. Commercial farms are the problem.

  12. Sproutykins

    Just popping in to say I despise that ancient font in the screenshot. I’ve seen that before in a Karl Popper pdf and actually read the full book. It’s rage inducing to see it again.

  13. justputsomething123

    This is close to the epitome of symptom treatment, as opposed to solving the problem.

    =>“Oh the chickens are pecking eachothers eyes out due to stress.”

    “Lets put goggles on them!”

    =>“What about reducing their stress levels?”

    “Nahhh”

  14. w0mba7

    Chickens like wearing glasses because they are natural librarians. You can hear them sitting around going “book, book, book”.

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