The question is, what is the most appropriate everyday first aid for backyard chickens? Chickens get injured almost daily, especially when they are free-ranging. Their injuries range from small wounds to fractures all the way to dislocation of their body parts. If left untreated, these injuries can lead to more complicated health problems. That is the reason everyday first aid is crucial to ensure that they stay out of harm’s way.
My responsibility as a chicken owner is to ensure that my flock stays healthy throughout. Since I cannot tell when they will get injured or sick, I have to stay alert for such eventualities. That is why I put everything in order in preparation for first aid just in case of anything.
An injured chickens’ road to recovery begins with you, the chicken owner. Their fate lies in your hands from morning to evening and across the night. Therefore, you need to observe them, give them food, water, and security in addition to medication.
There is no easy way to know when one of your injured or sick chickens needs immediate medical attention. That gives you an excellent reason to acquire medical supplies in readiness for an emergency.
The First Aid Kit For Your Backyard Chickens
Chickens are considered hardy farm animals. They can survive almost anywhere provided that they have access to their basic needs.
As a reasonable and responsible chicken owner, it is always prudent to be prepared for anything from your flock. For instance, your birds can get involved in a fight, injured by a predator, or become unexpectedly ill.
If you find yourself in any of these situations, you should be able to get out of it. And the only way out is when you have a fully equipped first-aid kit.
For your first kit to be well-equipped, it should have the following items:
Several Pairs of Disposable Gloves
Gloves are necessary when handling chickens. These wearables give you protection against different elements during an emergency on your farm.
For example, an attack on your chickens by predators can leave several birds killed or injured. The same predators may drag your chicken off the backyard, leaving behind a trail of petrified and bleeding chickens in their wake.
So you can imagine handling a scene full of dying and bleeding chickens immediately after predators have made a daring assault to your flock. If you are not courageous enough, this will be hard for you to deal with on your own.
But having gloves ready might help you handle the situation well. At the same time, gloves will prevent the transmission of germs or disease-causing pathogens between you and the affected chickens.
Non-Stick Gauze Pads, Vetrap Bandaging, and Small Scissors
All these components are useful in treating injured chickens. The vetrap bandaging comes in handy to protect the wounded part due to its self adhering ability. This self-adhering bandage sticks to itself so well that it does not affect the feathers or fur when protecting the injured area.
When removing it from the injured area, the bandage does not cause damage or come out with feathers. You can use it alongside the non-stick gauze pads and small scissors to make your work a bit easier.
A Gel Spray
Your first-aid kit should contain at least one antibacterial gel spray. This disinfectant is useful in cleaning up wounds or treating infections. You can use it to treat an injured chicken to prevent the injury from becoming septic.
Furthermore, it is safe for most of your farm animals. This means that you need to have it all the time just in case of an emergency. A perfect example of the antibacterial gel spray to choose when handling your chickens is Vetericyn.
Syringe or Dropper
Even though it is used for administering medicine, the syringe can also play a role in feeding your sick chicken. If you notice that your sick bird is not drinking or feeding on its own, you can reach out for a dropper or syringe. Then mix up the liquid diet and use any of these two first aid components to feed it.
It is a type of dye that ensures your injured bird stays safe within your flock. In most cases, chickens get attracted to raw skin and bleeding wounds. This implies that if one of your birds has an open cut, the rest will try to pick at the injured area, causing more harm than good.
To prevent them from inflicting more pain on the affected bird, you should look for Blu-Kote. This antiseptic spray will dye the wounded area blue making it unattractive to other chickens. Blue-Kote is mainly used to protect a chicken with minor wounds.
There are numerous cases of chickens injuring each other in the eyes or dirt getting in their eyes. If you come across such incidents, you must look for the saline solution in your first-aid kit to help out your birds.
This solution helps wash out dirt or eye injuries to make your chicken feel better and comfortable. Make sure that your first-aid kit has enough of this solution most of the time.
The Preparation H
If you notice cases such as a prolapsed vent, you should act as fast as you can to save the affected chicken. A prolapsed vent occurs mostly among young layers after passing a relatively larger egg.
When a large egg passes through the vent, it basically pulls some parts of the oviduct as well as the vent out. Should you notice such a case, clean the affected area thoroughly and gently before applying Preparation H.
The ointment will reduce swelling in order for you to push back everything in their position gently. Spray the area around the vent using Vetiricyn at least twice a day. Quarantine the sick hen for a few days while monitoring her healing process.
Sav-A-Chick Electrolytes come in handy in several packets to act as a lifesaver for chickens in distress.
For instance, your chicks may fail to thrive in the shock of predator attacks or heat stroke. To make them feel better and relaxed, you should give them a solution of Sav-A-Chick and water to speed up their recovery.
You will need a small flashlight to be among other items in your first-aid kit for a good reason. This source of artificial light will help you locate the wound and treat it.
If you cannot access a flashlight, you may turn to a desk lamp to provide you enough light while performing first-aid to your chickens.
Nail File, Pet Nail Scissors, Thin Fabric or Paper, and Super Glue
Even though chickens keep their beaks and nails trimmed, it is wise to include these items in your first-aid kit. Each of these items is necessary, especially when treating beak injuries or trimming overgrown beaks.
If your chicken loses part of its beak, you may need a file or clippers to prevent it from snagging on objects. If the broken part doesn’t fall off, just use the superglue to repair it.
The thin piece of paper or fabric should come in later to “bridge” the two broken pieces. Then use super glue to hold the pieces in one place.
Administering First Aid to The Injured Chicken
Below are essential steps to follow when performing first-aid to an injured chicken:
Isolate the Chicken-Injured, and sick chickens require a peaceful, quiet, and safe environment away from other healthy chickens. Isolate them so you may observe them from time to time to see how they are progressing with their healing.
Control Bleeding-For injured chickens, try as much as possible to stop bleeding. Wear gloves every time you are handling an injured bird. Use a clean gauze, towel, or paper to apply some pressure to the injury to stop bleeding.
Assess and Clean the Injured Area-When bleeding stops, assess the wounded chicken before cleaning the affected areas. Use clean water, Vetericyn spray, or hydrogen peroxide to keep the injuries clean throughout the healing process.
Hydrate the Injured Chicken-Provide enough water to the sick bird to keep it well hydrated. Water will help the sick bird with its metabolism and quick recovery as well.
Control Pain-Use prescribed anti-inflammatory drugs such as Meloxican to ease the pain in your injured chicken. You may also provide your sick bird with an aspirin-drinking water solution for three days to control pain. If the situation gets out of hand, you must contact a veterinarian for professional assistance.
Why should you have a well-equipped first-aid kit for your backyard chickens? Most of the time, chickens get injured while fighting, playing, or even roaming in the field. A first-aid kit will provide the relevant materials and equipment to take care of your wounded or sick birds.
What happens when the condition of your injured bird worsens? You should isolate it and reach out to the vet for the final solution.
Your chickens need first-aid all the time to keep them healthy and less vulnerable to predators or sickness. So, a well-equipped first-aid kit is a must-have if you really care about your flock. Apart from that, you should have first-hand information on how to administer first-aid to your injured or sick birds. If their injuries and sickness get out of your control, look for a veterinary officer to help you.
Below is a Pinterest friendly photo…. so you can pin it to your Chicken Board!!