When your chicken is sick or has an injury, the last thing you want to worry about is running to the store to pick up supplies. These things always happen when your favorite chicken supply store is closed anyway, right? You’ll have greater peace of mind as a chicken keeper if you have the tools to treat common emergencies close at hand. So grab a plastic bin or large Ziplock type bag and consider these items for your kit:
• Germicidal/fungicidal. We like Blu-Kote by Dr. Naylor because it treats surface wounds, sores, chafes, fungus infections and more while covering the wound in a blue color that keeps other chickens from pecking.
• Vitamins and electrolytes. Stress weakens a chicken’s immune system, making them susceptible to other diseases. Vitamins and electrolytes help chickens get through injuries or illness.
• Antibiotic ointment (like Neosporin) without painkiller. Will promote healing of the wound. Painkiller medications are toxic to chickens, so stay away from those.
• Eye ointment, such as Terramycin.
• Hydrogen peroxide or iodine to clean wounds.
• Wazine de-wormer, for when you see or suspect worms.
• Epsom salt. Soaks in Epsom salt are soothing, help clean up a pasty butt, and can be used as a laxative.
• Styptic pencil to stop bleeding on claws or beak.
• Chicken diaper, in case the chicken needs to be in the house.
• Chicken saddle, to prevent damage from over-mating.
• Non-stick gauze pads
• Veterinary wrap
• Dog nail clippers
• Disposable gloves
• Flash light
• Old (but clean) towels and rags
Your chickens will benefit from having a prepared and informed owner! Two books that we recommend to every chicken keeper are Storey’s Guide to Raising Chickens by Gail Damerow, and Fresh Eggs Daily by Lisa Steele. Both are very comprehensive, covering feeding, housing, health and more.
If you’re a subscriber to Henny & Roo, the monthly surprise box for backyard chicken keepers, you’ll get one of the medications listed above in the January 2016 box so that you can start or build up your own emergency kit. You’ll also get more products for your chickens, and some fun chicken-inspired gifts for yourself. The monthly subscription makes the perfect gift for the crazy chicken lady (or guy) in your life! More information on Henny & Roo, the first and only subscription box for backyard chicken keepers is available at www.hennyandroo.com.
We’d love to hear what other items you keep in your chicken emergency kit!
*Remember, it’s always best to consult a veterinarian when your chicken is having an emergency.