A Backyard Chicken First Aid Kit

February 21, 2013

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


Author/Blogger/Freelancer-Sharing adventures with backyard chickens, beekeeping, gardening, crafting, cooking and more.



21 thoughts on “A Backyard Chicken First Aid Kit”

  1. Awww poor lady! Thank you for sharing what's in your first aid kit! I need to put one together, I'm sure I will need it at some point. Are you going to let Dolly hatch some eggs this spring? I hope she gets better soon!

  2. That is a good first aid list – for any barn. Thanks for sharing. I might do the same with my 4-Hrs. Too bad for Dolly. Hens can be so mean when they get broody. It was -17 this a.m. and my silly hens are broody too…boy, they got mad when I had to take the eggs away. They were not frozen. Blessings from Wisconsin.

  3. Ugh, not looking forward to broody season! I have a Dolly too, but she thinks she's a roo (she actually crows on occasion), and has never gone broody. Two things you didn't mention that I rely on heavily are black pepper (it's like magic for stopping even heavy bleeding), and Tiger Balm (great for preventing picking because of the strong camphor smell). I will be using your list to round out my kit, so thank you!

  4. i feel bad for Dolly butt that is good you have an emergency kit i think i need on my chickens are always getting there comb peeked at i put petroleum jelly on it but i am not sure it works.

  5. i started my first aid kit also,i know different illness requires different medication so here is what my kit contains, syptic powder, nail clippers, prepartion H cream, vetracine spray, peck no more,colloidal silver, nutri drench, vitamin b12 and k, vitamins and electrolytes, wormers wazine and levamisole for gape worm, probotics, liquid corid, oxytet,gallimycin, sulphadimethoxine,neomycin sulfate,tumeric, amino acid, replamin liquid,vita pro b, my injectables are tylan 50, and liquamycin, then i have vet rx and crop bound capsules. i really took a lot of time putting it together. im hoping i covered all bases. id like to add sutures if i come across them. i think its important to be prepared for what might come and some meds the shipping takes time and feed stores don't carry them. i Hope my kit is complete. thanks for this article! very important!

  6. Ask your vet if you can use pure lavender essential oil and organic coconut oil on wounds. It is an amazing (instant) pain reliever for people and dogs….also aids in healing! Rubbing alcohol seems very painful.

    • Naturally the rubbing alcohol would not be my first choice for wound cleaning, but in some cases I felt it was important to mention it to folks. My concern with using oils in fresh open wounds is the promotion of growth of anaerobic bacteria, however they are fine to use on wounds after a good scab forms.

  7. I have a 4-month old Buff who has a prolapsed vent. I have been bathing her every other day with Dawn and Epsom salts and trying to push it back in. It won’t budge. I see that you have Preparation H on the list for this condition. How likely is it that I can get this resolved. I can’t be bathing her during the winter. She’s a love and hasn’t started laying. The others beat up on her if integrated so I have her separated from them. Please advise. I don’t want to lose her.

    • Usually prolapsed vents are caused from laying large eggs. The preparation H does work but sometimes they do require help from a vet. Because she has not started laying yet, I would take her to see a vet if possible. There might be something else going on with her.


Leave a Comment

About me

Sharing an inspired life from the New England seaside. Chickens, Bees, Gardens, Art and Yummy Goodness.