First Aid & General health, Absolute 'MUST have on hand' for chicken keeping?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by ladywolf, Oct 9, 2013.

  1. ladywolf

    ladywolf In the Brooder

    Apr 7, 2011
    Farmington, NH
    We just lost our almost three month old Splash Maran chick, Bertha, to Coccidia and it was fast! I noticed Thursday night about eight PM that she was lethargic and mentioned it to my daughter who said that she noticed at five when she went out to catch our landlords chickens. Checking symptoms, we suspected Coccidia. Bertha was gone by 8:30AM. My daughter was heartbroken and when I got the text at work I cried. Luckily I work for a Veterinarian and they understood. I did have The Other Beat Of My Heart (my other half- BIlly), pick up Corid and we immediately began treating the rest of the flock. Dapple (Cuckoo Maran chick) began getting a bit lethargic and had puffy feathers on Friday night but after forcing her to drink the medicated water she turned around and I am guardedly hopeful as she seems back to normal now other than seeming to keep her feathers more puffy than the other chickens. She is completely normal otherwise.

    Anywhoo... Wormers, antibiotics, medicines, vitamins? What should I absolutely have on hand for immediate use? For my horses, I have a fully stocked first aid cabinet with pain killers, anti-inflammatories, antiseptics, bandages, wraps, etc. What should I have for my chicken kids?

    Your humble student,

  2. Wyandottes7

    Wyandottes7 Crowing

    Jul 24, 2013
    Okay, here is what I would have on hand:

    • A dewormer, like Valbazen or Safeguard. Both dewormers are broad spectrum, and can take care of all worms.
    • Some broad-spectrum antibiotics. Oxytetracycline, in the form of Terramycin or Tetroxy HCA-280 is a good, water soluable antibiotic. Tylan50 injectable is a stronger antibiotic that is especially helpful for respiratory diseases.
    • Electrolytes, probiotics, and vitamins. Electrolytes and probiotics are for stressed out birds, or sick ones. Vitamins can be used if a bird has a vitamin deficiency, or is recovering from an injury.
    • A coccidiostat. Corid, either the liquid or the powder, is the best. Coccidiosis (as you probably unfortunately know by now) can kill quickly.
    • Equipment for giving injections. For most antibiotics, a small gauge (20-22 gauge) needle works best. But, if you are using Penicillin or another thicker substance, you'll need larger needles (16-18 gauge). You'll also need some small syringes.
    • BlueKote antiseptic spray. This can be used for disguising injuries, and preventinig infection.
    • Antibiotic ointment without any pain killers or "cain/caine" ingredients.
    • Dog or cat nail trimmers, as well as human nail clippers. The dog/cat nail trimmers are for trimming long toenails, and the human clippers are for overgrown beaks.
    • Some heat lamps. Heat lamps can be used for sick chickens that are recovering.
    1 person likes this.
  3. BantamLover21

    BantamLover21 Crowing

    Jul 24, 2013
    Well, this is what I like to keep on hand in case of problems:

    1. Molasses and/or Epsom salts for flushing poisoned birds
    2. Corid 9.6% liquid or 20% powder for treating Coccidiosis
    3. Tylan50 or Tylan200 injectable for treating more serious respiratory infections
    4. Powdered Oxytetracycline antibiotic for a less-severe infection.
    5. Vitamins/electrolytes and probiotics for giving energy to sick birds and re-hydrating birds stressed out by heat.
    6. Blue-Kote or another colored wound spray for disguising injuries.
    7. Antibiotic ointment (nothing that contains caine/cain ingredients, as those are harmful to birds) for dressing wounds.
    8. A dog crate, poultry cage(s), or rabbit cage for isolating sick birds.
    9. Nail trimmers for trimming long beaks/nails
    10. Injection supplies (syringes, needles, etc.) of different sizes.
    11. Heat lamps or other sources of heat for keeping sick birds comfortable
    12. Vaseline for rubbing on the legs and getting rid of Scaly Leg Mites or for protecting combs/wattles from frostbite in cold weather.
    13. 5% Sevin dust or Poultry dust for external parasites treatment
    14. Honey, Witch Hazel, and/or Preparation-H for treating prolapsed vent
    15. Human calcium pills/other supplements for egg bound hens
    16. A broad-spectrum de-wormer like Valbazen, SafeGuard, or the Worminator (contains Flubenvet, and is what I use)
    1 person likes this.
  4. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted

    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon
    I guess I'm way at the other end of the spectrum. I've never had cocci issues with my birds and I don't treat sick birds. IMO if a bird gets sick, it's susceptible and doesn't need to be in my flock. I don't deworm, I don't give antibiotics, nothing like that. I figure good flock management should prevent most illnesses and parasites. I want thrifty birds that don't need to be coddled, and I don't want to worry about a bird being a carrier of something. Around here you just get better or you die, I guess. Sounds harsh to some, but overall my flock is extremely healthy and Ii don't have to spend lots of time on treating sick birds.

    Edit--I do have blue kote, used it when a hen got lose and went visiting the neighbor's pit bull and Dobie. I was amazed to see the bird again--she was just a little torn up, not bad at all. Isolated her overnight until she wasn't shocky, blue-koted her and put her back with the flock. Good to go.
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2013
  5. Bear Foot Farm

    Bear Foot Farm Crowing

    Mar 31, 2008
    Grifton NC
    Quote: I'm much the same.
    I will treat a wound, but I rarely do any worming, and seldom need to because I don't try to save every bird
  6. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Crossing the Road

    Mar 15, 2010
    On the MN prairie.
    X2 - I have a free-range flock and have never had worm, cocci or other major problems. I have had the occasional egg bound or internal layer (I think, but am not exactly sure) and have put them down. If a bird is very ill or injured we put it out of its misery rather than try to fix it. We feel that's the kinder route to go. I've tried in the past to "make them better" and have only ended up extending their suffering.
  7. SunnySkies

    SunnySkies Songster

    May 13, 2012
    I'm a vet. I keep on hand:

    some wound treatments (chlorhexidine wash, syringes to rinse wounds with, gauze, triple antibioiic ointment, wound gel, that sort of thing)

    A couple antibiotics (oxytetracycline, Corid, and Baytril, as I will treat some problems, and sometimes they need antibiotics in case of a very bad injury) along with needles and syringes for injection.

    I do keep on hand and have saved a couple very expensive birds with SQ fluids, so I have a bag of LRS here.

    I free range and don't deworm unless needed. Haven't needed to yet.

    I keep Frontline and Sevin dust for mites or lice (haven't had). Haven't had any other problems other than a couple injuries, a couple cases of coccidia in chicks, and a couple sick birds, which died and got necropsied and apparently died of unknown causes as all tests were negative.

    I only use vitamins for new chicks. After that, everyone gets an all flock type of feed with calcium offered if they want it.

    If I need to hospitalize a bird, it goes in a crate in my mud room.
  8. ladywolf

    ladywolf In the Brooder

    Apr 7, 2011
    Farmington, NH
    Thanks for all of the great answers! I am a Vet. Tech so I tend to keep a lot of stuff on hand Just In Case.

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