As a backyard chicken keeper, you must have heard of using Blu-Kote for chickens at some point. If you have never used it, the chances are that you have it in your chicken first aid kit.
It is mostly recommended as an anti-pick spray with antifungal and antiseptic properties for use on raw skin and wounds.
Since chickens are more attracted to the red color, the blue coloring will help to prevent pecking at the wound by other chickens in the flock.
This article will discuss everything you need to know about Blu-Kote regarding chicken keeping. Read on to learn more.
First, it is essential to note that Blu-Kote was originally designed for horses. However, it quickly gained a reputation in the chicken keeping scene primarily because of its blue color.
Chickens usually see a wide range of colors as compared to human beings. Humans have three cones to see green, blue, and red.
On the other hand, chickens have four cones, with one suspected to be a double cone. The additional cones in chickens allow them to capture motions and see ultraviolet light.
Chickens also have a particular mechanism that helps distribute oil to the cones. It allows the cones to filter light in a very specific way.
They have the eyes of a perfect bug-eating machine. However, they are naturally inclined to go towards the red colors because of how their vision works.
With the attraction to the red color, if you have an injured chicken in your flock with a red wound, other chickens will tend to peck at it.
If the wound is not treated on time, the obsessive pecking can worsen the situation and even lead to the death of your feathered friend.
Therefore, the best thing you can do is to isolate your wounded chicken and treat it with the Blue Kote, which will act as an antiseptic.
It will also serve as a sound barrier and hide the red wound that other members in the flock may peck at. Some injuries may be a result of a pecking order imbalance where your chickens in the flock peck one to show who the boss is.
In this case, you should spray the Blu-Kote on all of your birds so that the injured one does not look different from others.
How To Use Blu-Kote On Your Chicken
You will not find it challenging to use Blu-Kote on your chickens. Here are a few steps you can follow.
Step 1: Clean The Wound
When cleaning your chicken’s wound, you can use Vetericyn. The brand has impressive products such as eyewash which is good for bubbly eyes in chickens and ducks.
Although it is a bit expensive, it is worth the money and safe for all animal species. They use non-irritating, ingestion-safe, and non-sensitizing ingredients.
You can also clean using water, good soap, or Neosporin without the numbing agent. Just make sure that anything you use is safe and effective at cleaning your chicken’s wound.
Step 2: Apply the Blu-Kote
Once you have cleaned the wound, you can apply your Blu-Kote. Ensure that you apply it relatively thick and allow it to dry. After that, separate the bird into a small space such as a dog crate.
Chicken Wound Care
If you are raising backyard chickens, you can be sure that they will develop injuries or wounds at some point. Here is the guideline of how you can successfully treat the wound of your feathered friend.
When a chicken is hurt, it will likely be in pain, confused, and scared. In such occurrences, wrap your bird in an old and clean towel so they do not further hurt themselves with panic and struggle.
If the chicken is not in a severe condition, you can treat them at night when they are more relaxed and calm. In this case, you will require a small portable battery-operated lantern or headlamp.
Take your chicken away from others. If the wound still bleeds heavily, you can apply wound powder and light pressure for about 8 minutes. Heavy bleeding is common on feet wounds.
Clean the Wound
The next thing will be cleaning the chicken’s wound. You can do this well by with a saline solution that you can squirt into the wound to clean up any debris or dirt.
You can buy saline solutions in first aid sections or make them with two teaspoons of salt and 4 cups of boiled water cups.
The salt should not have any anti-caking agents and should also be non-iodized. You will have to use a syringe or a squirt bottle to clean up the wound if it is so deep.
Tweezers can help you to grab larger pieces of debris carefully. If you find it hard to get everything, the foaming of hydrogen peroxide can lift out debris.
However, this should be used with caution as too much of it can damage the soft tissues of your chickens. Dab the wound dry using a gauze pad.
Treat the Wound
Once you have thoroughly cleaned your chicken’s wound, you will need to treat it to prevent infection. You can use different types of antibacterial products to treat the wound.
Blu-Kote will work well for small wounds such as feather picking and scratches. It will disinfect and color the area purple so that other chickens in the flock do not continue to peck it.
If the wounds are larger, you can use povidone-iodine. Pour the iodine gently on the wound and let it air dry. You can follow with antimicrobial powder for oozing wounds or antibiotic ointment for dry wounds.
Dress the Wound
If you are treating some superficial scratches or minor feather picking, you can use Blu-Kote for chickens or any other similar product to aid in healing.
You can also choose to dress the wound. First of all, you will have to check for feathers that can get in the way of the healing wound and pluck or clip them away.
If the wound is not bleeding and is located where other birds can not peck it, you can leave it open so that you check it from time to time.
Otherwise, you should cover it with a gauze pad and tape it directly around the wound. You can also make a body wrap around your bird to hold the dressing in place.
Generally, chickens are social birds. However, you will have to keep them isolated until they heal. You can achieve this by having a separate wire cage a distance from other chickens in the flock or a box in your closet.
The healing chicken will need warmth, no more stress, quiet, and rest. There are chances of your chicken being in shock because of the injury. Therefore, you will have to ensure that the shock does not go deeper.
Be sure that your feathered friend has plenty of water and food. You can tempt them with some of their favorite treats because they might be disinclined to eat something while in pain.
In some cases, the wound of your chicken can still become infected even after you have done everything by the book.
You can easily spot this if you check the wound under the dressing regularly or opt not to use a dressing. Infected wounds are usually red and may ooze pus or some fluid.
If the wound is not healing after two weeks, you can assume it is infected. Therefore, you will have to remove the scab. Instead of just ripping it off, you can first soften it by applying a thick ointment like Ichthammol or zinc oxide repeatedly.
This may require about two days of repeated applications. Be sure to clean out the infection again with a saline solution and retreat it like before.
If the wound is weepy or oozing, an antimicrobial powder will do well as compared to an ointment.
If your chicken’s wound is from an animal bite, you will need a strong antibiotic like Terramycin. Besides, if it is multiple layers or does not stay closed after a simple dressing, it may need stitches. You can seek services from your vet or other professional for good results.
A-List of Supplies
- Saline solution
- Old, clean towel
- Hydrogen peroxide
- Battery-operated lantern or headlamp
- Medical tape
- Gauze pads
- Blunt-tipped scissors
- Antimicrobial powder
- Antibiotic ointment
- A thick ointment like Ichthammol or zinc oxide
- A safe place where your chicken will heal
- An antibiotic such as Terramycin.
Can You Use Bandages On Chickens
Whether you can use a bandage on your chickens will depend on the severity of the wound. Generally, it would help to avoid bandaging chicken wounds because a bandage tends to bother the chicken more than it helps. It can also be hard to bandage some wound locations.
Blu-Kote has won a reputation in the chicken community. You can use it to successfully cure chicken wounds or prevent other chickens in the block from pecking on an existing wound.