Better Safe than Sorry - Stocking your Chicken First Aid Kit

If you raise chickens long enough, the day will come when you need to administer first aid. 

Whether it be a sprain, hurt foot, broken toenail, puncture wound, insect sting, respiratory infection, cuts, frostbite, bumblefoot, open sores, mites, worms, or an injury from another chicken or a predator, you want to be prepared in advance so you aren't running around trying to find what you need, or making a trip to the store, an emotional mess, with a hurt chicken on your hands.

(As a side note: I also find having a stocked first aid kit comes in handy down at the barn for when I injure myself, which happens more often than I would like to admit. I've had my share of splinters, stapled fingers, dust in my eyes and other minor maladies which are quickly remedied with items from the chickens' first aid kit.)


You will need a sturdy plastic container with a cover.

Small fishing tackle boxes work well as do small plastic craft boxes from Walmart or the Dollar Store. Of course I keep so much on hand now that it all no longer fits into this small container !

Write your vet's telephone number as well as the phone number of our local feed store on the lid in permanent marker. Although your vet might not treat chickens per se, they will still be an important contact in many situations and many feed store owners are familiar with common maladies.

Inside the kit you will want to have:

Saline solution (to rinse dirt or dust out of eyes)
 Betadine (kills germs)
 Neosporin (triple antibiotic ointment - with NO pain relief, the pain relievers can be harmful to chickens)
Poultry VetRx (cures respiratory ailments, scaly leg and eye worm)
Nutri-Drench (liquid vitamins and other nutrients)
Liquid Childrens' Benadryl (to administer in case of bee,wasp or scorpion stings)
Liquid Calcium (helps an eggbound hen)
Green Goo (all natural petroleum jelly and Neosporin)
Vitamins & Electrolytes or Plain Pedialyte (to replenish electrolytes during extremely hot weather)
Honey (natural antiseptic with healing properties)
Epsom salts (for soaking feet with splinters or bumblefoot. Also when ingested, Epsom salts - or molasses - can neutralize and help flush toxins, help with intestinal tract blockage, reduce diarrhea and treat vent gleet)
Bag Balm, Coconut Oil and/or Vaseline (to prevent frostbite on combs or feet)
Bach Rescue Remedy for Pets (a natural stress reliever)
Kochi Free (all-natural anti-parasitic and coccidiosis remedy)
Theracyn Wound and Skin Care Spray - (non-toxic spray that can be used to treat cuts, scratches, sores and minor injuries as well as eye infections and bumblefoot.)
Blu-Kote (an antiseptic/antipick spray *note that Blu-Kote is not approved for use in poultry)

Gauze pads, First Aid Tape, Vet Wrap, Sharp Scissors
Blood Stop Powder (available from your vet) or Cornstarch (also will stop bleeding)
Cotton Balls, Wooden Popsicle Sticks, Q-Tips, Scalpel, Eye Dropper, Tweezers, Small Pliers, Rubber Gloves, Dawn Dish Detergent, a Plastic Syringe, Dog Toenail Clippers, Small Flashlight with Spare Batteries

Note: Blu-Kote is a purple spray that is difficult to remove from hands, clothing, etc.

Using a paper towel or toilet tissue roll to spray through will focus the spray into the chicken at the location of the wound and prevent the spray from getting on everything. Wearing gloves is still recommended if you don't want it all over your fingers tho!

WARNING:  Any antibiotic or pain killer that ends in 'caine' or 'cane' (bactine, novacaine, lidocaine, benzocaine, etc.) can be harmful or even fatal to chickens and should NEVER be used.

In addition, you should keep a small pet carrier and a soft blanket nearby for a possible trip to the vet.

A dog crate or large bird cage should also be kept handy. It will make a perfects 'recovery room' for a hen who needs to be separated while recovering from an injury or illness.

That way any medication that needs to be administered can be easily limited to your patient's diet and you can monitor the hen's eating/drinking/pooping while keeping her safe from pecking by the others. 

The crate needs to be sturdy, safe, large enough that the chicken can move around a bit and preferably in a quiet corner. You can also drape a towel over it to allow your patient more privacy. 

Keeping the crate outside in the run while your patient is recovering (if weather permits), and what she is suffering from isn't contagious, will avoid the injured chicken from being at the bottom of the pecking order when she is ready to be returned to the run and make re-integration easier.

Your brooder box (click HERE to learn how to make this one) also makes a nice sick bay turned on its side for recovering hens.

Keep the crate handy and your first aid kit stocked (and if you use something or it expires, replenish right away with a new supply). Keep the kit where you can access it quickly.  With a well-stocked first aid kit you will be set for almost any chicken emergency - but hopefully you will never need to use it.

For my recommendation of the top essential all-natural first aid items you absolutely need to keep stocked, click HERE.

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