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All Natural First Aid Kit for Chickens

All Natural First Aid Kit for Chickens

Assembling a natural first aid kit for your chickens is easy if you raid your kitchen pantry and bathroom medicine cabinet. Too often in backyard chicken keeping, injury or illness occurs that needs to be treated quickly. Too many chicken keepers fail to assemble a first aid kit for their chickens in advance. It's important to have a basic first aid kit ready... just in case. Hopefully you will never need them, but at least you'll be ready if you do.

How to Assemble a Chicken First Aid Kit

Assembling a first aid kit for your chickens is always a good idea so you're prepared when disaster strikes. 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 with your chicken first aid kit 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.

Grow an Herbal First Aid Kit for Your Chickens

Grow an herbal first aid kit for your chickens to keep them in tip top health - naturally. Growing herbs and edible flowers is easy and rewarding. Most aren't very picky about where you plant them, what you plant them in, or even if you water them very often. They thrive in sandy soil, full sun and basically like to just be left alone.

5 Common Mistakes Made by First-Time Chicken Keepers

Learn the most common mistakes first time chicken keepers make and how to avoid them. The journey from picking up your day-old chicks at the feed store or post office until you collect your first egg can be filled with joy and wonderment ... or fraught with anguish. Even though I raised chickens as a kid, when we got my first batch as an adult (and realized that I was holding a baby chick for the first time in at least 20 years), I'll admit that there was a bit of a learning curve.

DIY Anti-Pick Blu-Kote Knockoff Spray For Backyard Chickens

Home DIY antibacterial, anti-pick Blu-Kote knockoff spray is easy to make at home - and safe to use on your chickens. I would venture a guess that most backyard chicken keepers have heard of Blu-Kote. If you have not actually used it, you probably at least have some in your chicken first aid kit.

How to Make Homemade Electrolytes for Chickens

Knowing how to make homemade electrolytes (and keeping some on hand) for your chickens in the summer is valuable in case of heat exhaustion, stress or dehydration. Having some electrolytes on hand in your chicken first aid kit is always a good idea. Administered in cases of heat exhaustion, injury, stress or dehydration, electrolytes could be the difference between life and death for an ailing hen or baby chick.

Preparing your Chickens for a Blizzard or Snowstorm

Being prepared for blizzards is part of living in the northeast. Prepping your chicken coop isn't difficult but it's pretty important. There's a blizzard on the way. But although more than two feet of snow is predicted this go-around for us here in Maine, there's not a whole lot I need to do to get ready for it - as far as the chickens are concerned. But it is important to be sure my supplies are stocked and I have plenty of feed and bedding on hand.

Herbs for Healthy Backyard Chickens

Keep your backyard chickens happy and healthy with a diet full of fresh (or dried) herbs. Keep your backyard chickens happy and healthy with a diet chock full of fresh (or dried) herbs. All kinds of culinary herbs and edible flowers contain a multitude of vitamins, minerals and other components that contribute to better flock health. Some herbs target specific body parts or functions, while others are beneficial to overall health.

Hurricane and Storm Preparedness for Backyard Chickens

Read my personal account of preparing my backyard chickens and ducks for a hurricane that was heading for the East Coast. It seems that the weather is getting more extreme year to year, and hurricanes and tornadoes are popping up all over the place. We hear storm warnings all the time and they usually turn out to be nothing, but back in 2011, we got hit with Hurricane Irene while we were living in Virginia and I realized just how unprepared I was to handle severe weather when it came to protecting our backyard flock. 

7 Simple Ways to Prevent Frostbite in Backyard Chickens

Frostbite in backyard chickens can be a problem in chicken coops in the winter, but using these simple tips you shouldn't have to worry  about it. Frostbite can occur in the cold months in your chicken flock if you're not careful.   Although usually not life-threatening, it can be painful for the chicken and also in extreme cases lead to infection and/or loss of the frostbitten appendage (usually combs, wattles, toes or feet).  

Benefits of Molasses for Chickens

Molasses has some super health benefits for the backyard flock of chickens. Molasses, specifically black strap molasses, can be an important addition to your chickens' diet. Although too much molasses will cause diarrhea, a small amount can be beneficial to your hens' health.  As with most things, moderation is the key.

Help! My Chicken is Sick. What Should I Do?

What do you do when you have a sick chicken and no vet to treat her? Being very low on the food chain, and adhering to a very strict pecking order within a flock, chickens have been programmed to hide their symptoms extremely well, and by the time you even notice something is wrong, it's often too late. But by spending time with your flock, and being able to recognize what 'normal' behavior is, you can spot even subtle changes that might indicate someone isn't feeling their best.

State by State Lists of Avian Vets, Labs and Resources

State by state list of avian vets, labs and resources for the backyard chicken keeper. When you are dealing with a medical issue in your flock, your first reaction shouldn't be to check an online forum or Facebook page, to google the symptoms or read a few blogs. You'll find that limping can be a simple sprain or a sign of the dreaded Mareks disease. A weird egg can be a one-time glitch or infectious bronchitis. Your hen suddenly stopped laying? She could be egg-bound (potentially fatal), molting (totally normal) or just taking a break.

Comb to Toe Chicken Check Up

Keeping a close eye on your chickens and doing periodic "comb to toe" check ups can help nip potential health problems in the bud. It is generally good practice to spend time with your flock on a regular basis (as if you don't already!), apart from the regular feeding and cleaning, but really observing them, so that you know what is "normal" behavior and appearance and immediately notice any changes in appearance or behavior. The faster you can identify a health issue and treat it, the better. Chickens, being the ultimate prey animal, are masters at hiding symptoms and often by the time you notice something is wrong its too late.

What is the Veterinary Feed Directive (VFD)? Updated for 2023

The Veterinary Feed Directive poses some big challenges for the backyard chicken keeper. Read what it entails. Big changes were placed in effect on January 1, 2017 by the USDA regarding how certain medications were going to be dispensed for chickens and other types of livestock.  Basically, the Veterinary Feed Directive  put a stop to over-the-counter sales of many of the antibiotics used for poultry and other livestock. 

Treating and Preventing Frostbite in Chickens Naturally

Frostbite is a real concern with backyard chickens, so what's the best way to prevent it? Well, a well-ventilated, dry coop is a good start. Did you know that frostbite is usually caused more by moisture and dampness than by the actual cold itself? Roosters, and chickens with large combs, are most susceptible, although wattles and toes can also suffer frostbite. While frostbite isn't generally fatal, it can be painful for the chicken so avoiding it is a good idea if at all possible.

Herbal Rx | Natural Remedies for Poultry Respiratory Issues

Chickens are extremely susceptible to respiratory problems. Here are some natural remedies to cure respiratory issues without resorting to antibiotics or other chemical medications. Chickens have extremely complex breathing and respiratory systems that differ greatly from humans and other mammals.

Homemade Natural Frostbite Salve for Chickens

Making herbal salves is simple and inexpensive. This healing salve will help treat frostbitten chicken combs and wattles or any topical injury. This homemade natural frostbite salve for chickens can be used to prevent and treat frostbite in your backyard chicken flock , as well as treat any minor topical cuts or scrapes on your chickens (our yourself!).  It's very soft, so it's easy to gently smear on damaged wattles, combs or skin without injuring it more.

Treating Vent Prolapse in Chickens and Ducks

Vent prolapse in chickens and ducks can be a recurring - and quite serious - problem, but treating it is fairly simple. A prolapsed vent, also sometimes called "blowout" or "blow-out" is a potentially serious condition which occurs when a portion of a hen's (chicken or duck) oviduct ends up outside her body and doesn't retract back inside.  It's likely to happen on a recurring basis after it has occurred once.

Herbs for Hens®: Plantain Soothing Salve

 The benefits of Plantain and a recipe for an all natural soothing salve. Plantain is a perennial herb (considered a weed by many!) found nearly worldwide in lawns, fields and the woods. Edible for humans and animals alike, it can be eaten fresh/raw, used in salads or cooked much the same as spinach. It's high in calcium and iron, as well as Vitamin B1 and riboflavin. Our chickens and ducks love it, picked fresh from the woods or yard. In fact, I have a hard time finding some leaves that haven't already been nibbled on!