Are you prepared to respond to a chicken emergency? Raising healthy chickens is typically easy with good husbandry, such as organic feed, clean water, appropriate temperature range, and shelter. As a responsible chicken parent, being prepared to administer first aid when needed can determine life or death. Having these supplies on hand, removes the delay of making a trip to the store, during an emotional time when an emergency strikes. Based on my personal experiences, research, love for chickens, and information from other families, I compiled a recommended Chicken First Aid Kit inventory.
Chickens are animals of prey and signs of illness are apparent when it is crucial to act. They can go from happy, healthy, active, to droopy, puffed out, and fatally ill quickly. Understanding what to look for and best treatment options may save your chicken’s life. Most vets do not treat poultry and specialty products are not locally sourced making it more critical to keep your first aid kit stocked.
The key to saving members of your flock is having an area to isolate injured or suspected ill birds. If injured, other flock members can be cruel in pecking and eating the injured bird. Most illnesses are spread quickly through feather dander, contaminated water, and feces. Thus, immediate isolation assists with reducing the risk of spreading illnesses.
Take into consideration the age of the chickens. If you are raising chicks in a brooder, you will need the same supplies to regulate proper temperature. If everyone in your flock is already outside, having a kennel indoors or another coop far away from the others is an option. A kennel works to help monitor eating, drinking, droppings while keeping her safe.
Organic or Conventional.
Under good management, disease will be rare. One of the hardest decisions to make is if you are willing to cull a member that is a threat to your flock should organic natural methods not work. Alternately, there are conventional medications if you want to forfeit having an all organic flock and save your pet. Organic flocks cull diseased individuals as their immunity hasn’t developed like the rest of the healthy flock. Culling rids the genetic trait that is undesired on the homestead.
Basic First Aid Kit
$11.99 Gauze pads
$2.99 Cotton Balls
$7.50 Wooden Popsicle Sticks
$12.68 Bulk Dawn Dish Detergent
$8.86 Nitrile Disposable gloves
$10.99 Oral Syringes with Cover A syringe helps in administering fluids if your chicken needs to take medication or need assistance in being fed a liquid diet. A dropper may be used for this purpose as well.
$8.75 Scalpel If you notice webbed feet or bumble feet, this will be a handy tool for precise incisions.
$8.62 Bag Balm. It is a thick slave that helps with chickens that are growing their feathers back or have wounds. It can be rubbed on combs, waddles, and feet to act as a moisture barrier to prevent frostbite in the winter. While it is recommended to keep injured birds isolated, bag balm can be mixed with blue food coloring to help avoid flock pecking.
$5.22 Vetrap Bandaging This bandaging is self-adhering and does not get stuck on fur and feathers reducing the pain and damage of removal.
$3.29 Scissors. Scissors are useful in cutting bandage sizes and trimming wing feathers should the need arise.
$16.35 Pet Nail Trimmer When chickens have lots of space and a rock/cinder block, they can usually care for their nails and hone their beak naturally. If confined, they may need their nails or spur trimmed. If suffering a beak injury or scissor beak birth defect, the pet nail trimmer can be used to help shape the beak.
$8.49 Saline Solution To help wash out eye injuries or cleaning out dirt from the eye area, use saline solution.
$6.56 Vaseline Has many uses such as helping with treating scaly leg mites and egg binding.
$6.85 Cornstarch Apply to small wounds to help stop bleeding.
$14.99 Betadine is a first aid antiseptic that helps prevent infection. The active ingredient is Povidone-iodine. Excellent for killing germs.
$8.99 Epsom Salts use to soak feet that have splinters or bumblefoot. Use orally to neutralize and help flush toxins, help with intestinal tract blockage, reduce diarrhea and treat vent gleet.
Natural First Aid & Prevention
I prefer natural remedies whenever possible as maintaining an organic flock is important to us considering we consume and hatch the eggs our hens lay.
$27.95 Oregano can be added to warm water or administered orally direct to help with immune system and has been proven to be a natural antibiotic. It is also used to spray on eggs as they incubate to improve chick hatch rates and health.
$14.99 3 Pack: Tea Tree, Eucalyptus, Lavender
$10.90 Food Grade Mineral Oil is used as a carrier oil.
$29.95 Colloidal Silver. Bacteria is not able to grow in colloidal silver. It is used as an eye wash and can be taken orally.
$13.33 Vet RX is camphor-based. Used to treat respiratory illnesses and eye worm. Give orally or dab on nostrils Vet Rx, or placed under the chicken’s wing before bed to use like vapor rub.
$5 Dust Bath Herbs. Prevents lice and mite infestations.
$5 Nesting box Herbs. Provides calming aromas, prevents mites and lice, and is Essential Oils. DE won’t work for Scaly Leg Mites Use a mix of mineral oil, tree oil and oil of oregano. Use an old tooth-brush and wear disposable latex glove.
$12.99 Nutri-Drench is a molasses-based liquid packed with nutrients, helps resistance to disease, boosts immune systems, corrects vitamin deficiencies, helps with heat stress, improves appetites in sick birds and increases the body's response to other treatments. Give to chicks to ease the stress of traveling.
$13.85 Honey Apply to wounds to aid in healing, it's a natural antibacterial and anti-fungal.
$29.97 Kocci Free is an natural anti-parasitic remedy for coccidiosis. Also kills other viruses, bacteria and fungus.
$16.97 Green Goo An antibacterial/anti-fungal topical salve for abrasions, cuts, scrapes and use as a first aid dressing. A natural alternative to Neosporin.
$8.49 Blackstrap molasses can be used as a flush in the case of accidental poisoning or botulism. Mix a tablespoon in a cup of water anytime a chicken is in distress. If a chicken looks droopy, mix in their water and dip their beak in it to help give them a surge of energy to help them eat. Helps with a chick that is in shock from predator attack, after traveling, exhibiting failure to thrive, and recovering in chicken hospital.
$44.99 Verm-X An all natural wormer/preventive that helps control and flush internal parasites.
$19.99 Garlic Juice A 10% garlic juice/90% water mixture is an effective remedy for mites and lice.
$6.99 Activated Charcoal Powder In the case of suspected poisoning, Activated Charcoal can help remove toxins
$15.16 Coconut Oil Smearing coconut oil on combs and wattles can help prevent and/or treat frostbite, and smeared on the legs can help treat scaly leg mites. It is also a natural sunscreen and can protect rooster favorite hens from sunburn.
$21.15 Vetericyn Poultry Care Spray. It is safe antibacterial gel spray for almost all animals and is used to clean wounds and treat infections.
$8.49 Preparation H (regular without pain relief). If a young hen prolapses her vent, clean the area gently and apply Preparation H to reduce swelling. The goal is to carefully press the oviduct back into the vent. Keeping the hen isolated in chicken hospital is important until fully healed. Spray Vetericyn a few times a day to help the healing process. Prolapse is typically caused by trying to pass an egg that is too large. Make sure she lays a successful egg prior to placing her back with her flock buddies.
$9 Sav-A-Chick Electrolytes. Sav-A-Chick can be administered anytime a chicken is in distress. If a chicken looks droopy, mix in their water and dip their beak in it to help give them a surge of energy to help them eat. Helps with a chick that is in shock from predator attack, after traveling, exhibiting failure to thrive, and recovering in chicken hospital.
$5.70 Triple Antibiotic Ointment. Something without added pain relief, for treating deep wounds and bumblefoot infections.
$17.75 Ivomec Eprinex. Eprinex is marketed for cattle, but can be used on chickens to control external parasites such as mites. Apply topically on the back between wings. Use 0.5 cc per treatment. Mites feed on the chicken’s blood and can cause anorexia quickly. Mites are small and close inspection by parting feathers and looking at skin is often necessary to find. Mites look like a translucent red tiny flea. Birds with a heavy infestation will have pale combs and might be lethargic and can lead to death. The coop and living area will need to be sanitized and it is highly recommended to use a DE herb mix in your chicken’s dust bath and nesting box areas. Clean bedding is a must.
$23.85 Corid. Amprolium is the main ingredient and it is used to treat coccidiosis and can be used as preventative treatment for the rest of the flock if illness is suspected.
$12.56 MicrocynAH is an ophthalmic gel used to clean nd relieve eyes affected by burning, stinging, inching, pollutants, contaminants, and irritations in animals. Birds will use their wings to scratch their eyes if irritated which can cause blindness.
$39.97 Liquid Calcium In a case of suspected egg binding, 1 cc of liquid calcium administered with an eye dropper can help to boost the calcium levels in the chicken's body to allow her to contract and push the egg out.
$15.75 Theracyn Wound and Skin Care Spray can be used to treat cuts, scratches, sores and minor injuries as well as eye infections and bumblefoot.