Today, I’m answering one of the more important chicken-related questions...do chickens have eyelashes?
That’s right. Of all the questions that come up from time-to-time, this is one of them.
If you’re here, it’s something you’re asking too, right?
So, let’s find out!
Why Do We and Other Animals Need Eyelashes?
The reason why animals either do or do not have eyelashes depends on whether or not they need them.
The reason why we have eyelashes is to help protect our eyes from dirt and debris. Plus, they are highly sensitive and help warn us when something is close to our eyes.
Just touch your eyelashes if you need to see what I mean. Feels funny and makes you want to blink, doesn’t it?
Do Chickens Have Eyelashes?
If you look at the large header image at the top of the blog post or the image above, you can clearly see that chicken does not have eyelashes.
That’s the best and most conclusive evidence right there. If you can’t see any eyelashes, they don’t have any.
I have to admit, if you zoom in and look really closely, you’ll see there are some thin hair-like strands around the eye.
These don’t perform the same function as eyelashes though, so it’s not accurate to call them lashes.
There are countless breeds and types of chickens, a lot of them have different characteristics and physical traits, but as far as I can tell no breed of chicken has eyelashes.
Related - Do chickens have eyebrows?
Do Chickens Need Eyelashes?
Evolution is a wonderful thing. There is almost always a reason why animals have - or don’t have - anatomical features.
Chickens can and do get eye infections, so it’s not as if they don’t need to protect their eyes. It’s just that they don’t need lashes to help keep dirt out of their eyes.
This is because much like a lot of animals chickens have a third eyelid. This thin, nictitating membrane hides behind the skin in the corner of their eye on the side near their beaks.
They use this extra eyelid as a way to clean the surface of their eye, keep debris and dirt off, and as a reflex if something is threatening to touch their eye.
This is also the lid you see pulled across when they’re sleeping.
This video captures their third eye perfectly as it shows you a chicken blinking in slow motion.
Chickens do not have eyelashes, no.
You can clearly see that by taking a good look. It’s not an issue for them though, as they don’t need them to help protect their eyes as we do.
This is because chickens have a third eyelid that helps protect their eyes.
They can’t simply use their hands to clear something from their eye as we can. They need another way to do this, and the third eyelid does this for them just fine.
There are some other mammals that do have eyelashes. But birds, for the most part, do not have them. There are some exceptions, like ostriches for example.
Image Credits - Header image by Donna Elliot, rooster eye image by Jairo Alzate on Unsplash