Topic of the Week - Emergency/First Aid Preparedness

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by sumi, Jan 22, 2017.

  1. sumi

    sumi Égalité Staff Member

    Jun 28, 2011
    Rep of Ireland
    This week I would like to hear you all's thoughts and suggestions on being prepared for emergencies, injuries, etc. Specifically:

    - What equipment and/or medicine is handy and necessary to keep around for things like hatching, injuries in the flock, sudden onset of disease etc?

    For a complete list of our Topic of the Week threads, see here:
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2017
  2. sunflour

    sunflour Flock Master Premium Member Project Manager

    Jan 10, 2013
    #1 on the have to have list:

    A dog crate and a place ready for just in case you have to quickly move one to a safe place.
    3 people like this.
  3. azygous

    azygous Flock Master

    Dec 11, 2009
    Colorado Rockies

    My arsenal against injury and illness, along with my ability to recognize the onset of such, has grown over the years from nothing to a pretty sizable cache.

    The first time a chicken died occurred just a couple days after I began my flock with two adult chickens adopted from a friend's flock after she died in a horrible accident. I had no idea why the hen died, and I just assumed it was something that just "happened" with chickens.

    Now, nearly ten years later, I've learned the signs of a sick chicken, and even without being a vet, I can often figure out what's wrong and how to treat it. However, I still need to come back here and ask questions when I have a chicken with an ailment I can't figure out, as I just did recently, surprising a few of my friends here.

    I keep amoxicillin and penicillin on hand to treat a chicken who suddenly becomes ill. A normally chatty hen will suddenly go mute. She will seclude herself in a corner, often facing a wall, tail held low and flat. Last spring, I lost a new layer to a sudden illness and it took her life before the antibiotic could take hold, but I was in time to save her sister a week later when she came down with the same thing. I strongly suspect my compost pile was responsible.

    A very wet winter and spring had made a soggy mess out of the compost bins, and I had been disposing of a lot of spoiled apples and squash in it that turned normally present botulism spores into a deadly toxin called Clostridium perfringens. It can kill in 24 hours. With an antibiotic, a chicken can be cured.

    I get my antibiotics from KV Pet Supply. They're for fish, but work just fine on chickens, and I can cope with the new US federal law which requires a vet prescription starting in 2017.

    I also have on hand antibiotic eye drops, steroid drops, and anti-inflammatory drops for eye infections and sinus infections, as well as simple lubricating saline eye drops. I and a few of my friends have had cataracts removed and these drops were prescribed for our surgeries. They work splendidly on chickens.

    I've dealt with my share of injuries, and vet wrap is one of the most important items to keep in a chicken first aid kit. Chicken beaks are sometimes even more dexterous than human fingers, and vet wrap is practically chicken proof since it adheres to itself. I use it cut into one-inch wide strips twelve inches long with telfa pads on the wound. Bandaging a bumblefoot patient with vet wrap enables me to return them immediately to the flock to avoid re-entry stress later.

    Bag Balm is a helpful product for frostbite prevention. It's better than Vaseline since it has lanolin in it and lubricates and protects deep into the tissue.

    Vetericyn is another valuable wound care product, protecting against infection while promoting tissue regeneration.

    Here's more:

    Epsom salt
    Triple antibiotic ointment
    Electrolyte powder
    corn starch
    worm meds
    Elector PSP or permethrin dusting powder
    Castor oil
    Coconut oil
    Mineral oil
    Miconazole for sour crop
    Copper sulfate for sour crop and other yeast infections
    Blu-kote or Blue lotion
    hydrogen peroxide
    cotton balls
    Baby aspirin
    Poultry nutri-drench and B-vitamins and selenium
    Calcium citrate
    Vet wrap and telfa pads
    sharp, small scissors

    Start your own kit. It can save the life of your favorite chicken!
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2017
  4. MasterOfClucker

    MasterOfClucker Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 19, 2016
    Here are some things that i have found useful in a emergency.

    Wound Spray(Vetericyn)
    Eye Ointment
    Vitamin pills
    Poultry Vitamins
    Lice/Mites duster
    Syringe Feeding Tube
    Tylan 50
    Cotton Ball
    3cc Syringe
    Needle Syringe
    Heating Pad for Sick Chickens
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2017
    4 people like this.
  5. BantamLover21

    BantamLover21 Overrun With Chickens

    Jul 24, 2013
    These are items I always have on hand:

    Oxytetracycline powder: for mild infections or as supportive treatment for viral diseases, like Fowl Pox.
    Tylan200 or Tylan50: for more severe infections, including problems that don't respond to the Oxytetracycline.
    Poultry vitamins/electrolytes: help with stress during illness; also used for newly hatched chicks.
    Bluekote: great wound spray for broken toenails, picking wounds, or other injured areas.
    Veterycin: another wound spray that helps promote healing.
    Antibiotic ointment: used for eye infections, frostbite damage, injured combs/wattles, and other mild injuries.
    Sevin dust: for external parasites.
    Small cages: for isolating sick or injured birds.
    Heat lamps: for providing extra heat to sick or injured birds, if necessary.
    Corid: for Coccidiosis treatment.
    Various sizes of needles/syringes: for vaccinating chicks and injecting antibiotics.
    5 people like this.
  6. casportpony

    casportpony Team Tube Feeding Captain & Poop Inspector General Premium Member Project Manager

    Jun 24, 2012
    My Coop
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2017
  7. Beekissed

    Beekissed Flock Master

    Castor oil, antibiotic oint, epsom salts. That's it.
    2 people like this.
  8. N F C

    N F C phooey! Premium Member Project Manager

    Dec 12, 2013
    Lots of good items on this thread already. The only thing I can think of to add is to have ALL your stuff (unless it needs refrigeration) in one place. I used a large plastic tote to keep everything together and within handy reach. Also, a large clean towel can be handy to wrap a bird securely so she's easier to tend to.

    Good tips everyone!
    3 people like this.
  9. sumi

    sumi Égalité Staff Member

    Jun 28, 2011
    Rep of Ireland
  10. Beekissed

    Beekissed Flock Master

    Any swelling to the feet or wound can be benefited by a soak with the epsom's takes the throb and pain out of it. The castor oil is a natural antibacterial, antimicrobial, antifungal, and even a natural insecticide...but it's also a great anti-inflammatory and will take the pain out of the site as well. Castor oil is also known for helping to regrow skin and hair quickly, so it covers all the bases when it comes to wounds or damaged scales due to scale mite.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by