Chickens DIY Projects Health Issues Stories from Our Nest

A Backyard Chicken First Aid Kit

Like clockwork, Dolly is broody again.  My heart sank to discover that I had not reached her before, Sunshine could inflict harm to her.  When Dolly goes broody, she prefers to sit in the favorite nesting box.  I think that all the other girls understand and politely lay in the adjacent nesting boxes.  However, Sunshine refuses to lay her eggs in any other box. Jealous and upset to find Dolly all poofed out inside the favorite nesting box, Sunshine takes it upon herself to peck at Dolly until she leaves the box.  With a stubborn broody hen and a hen with an attitude, Dolly always loses.  Wounds are inflicted.

Typically, I when I know she is going broody, I proactively place a hen saddle on her immediately.  Yet, this time, Sunshine did not peck her in the usual areas of her back or head.  She pecked her on her wing.  As I opened the nesting box lid, I could see Dolly with her wing barren of feathers and a sore with dried blood.  Sunshine had done some harm.  I scooped up Dolly and brought her into the garage where I cleaned up her wound and applied some Vetericyn.  I then put a hen saddle on her to protect her back from Sunshine’s wrath.  It is times like this when I am thankful that I have a chicken first aid kit.

Once covered, Sunshine did eventually reach Dolly’s head.
You can see the tip of her wing is bare. This is two days after treatment.

When I used to discover a chicken with an injury, it was a very stressful situation.  Being prepared with a chicken first aid kit has helped me to be ready for anything at anytime.  I encourage every chicken owner to have one on hand.  I have had numerous emails and messages asking me what I keep in the first aid kit for my own personal use.  Today, I am sharing the inventory.  Feel free to add or subtract what you think you might need.  It can be costly to create a chicken first aid kit all at once.  My advice is to over time on trips to the local drug store and feed store pick up an item here and there.  Soon enough, you will be able to have a chicken first aid kit ready to use when you need it.

A Chicken First Aid Kit Supplies

A box/plastic bin-to store all of your supplies
Hen saddles– in a few sizes
Ink pen/notepad-to jot things down in an emergency
The Chicken Health Handbook by Gail Damerow
Phone Number of local veterinarian who sees chickens
Blu-Kote-great to cover scabbed wounds to discourage pecking and treat infection
Poultry Nutri-Drench-helps during times of stress
Vitamins and Electrolytes– helps during times of stress
Probiotic powder-helps during issues with crop/digestion
Vetericyn spray gel-terrific to apply topically to wounds
Dawn dish detergent-the soap I use to bathe the chickens
Small plastic wash basin– a nice bath tub
Old clean towels– always helpful
Gauze-cover/dress wounds
Bandages-cover/dress wounds
Medical tape-adhesive
Adhesive bandagesplayed leg treatment
Rubber Bands-splayed leg
Band-Aids– broken toes/bent toes in chicks
Nail Clipperstoenail maintenance or broken nail
Crazy Gluebroken beaks
Nail File-filed down chipped beaks and toenails
Corn starch-stops light bleeding such as from a nail or beak.
Betadine-wound cleaner
Cotton Balls-clean wounds
Q-Tips– cleaning injuries
Preparation H– treatment for prolapsed vent
Rubbing Alcohol/Hydrogen Peroxide-wound cleaner for beaks/tool sterilizer
Heat Lamp– for the heating the hospital brooder
Hospital Brooder– a safe place away from others
Syringe– dosing medication
Digital Scale-to weigh chicken to calculate medication dose
Popsicle sticks/tongue depressors-splints
Saline Solution-rinse eyes and our wounds
Vaselinefrostbite prevention to combs and wattles also helps with egg bound hen
Waxelene-natural alternative for frostbite prevention and skin issues
Food grade diatomaceous earth– treat mites and poultry lice
Disposable gloves
A cardboard box to fit a chicken-to transport to the veterinarian

A beak boo boo. Scraped and bloody.

Photo Credit:  Tilly’s Nest

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