Topic of the Week - Treating Chicken Injuries


Staff member
Premium member
8 Years
Jun 28, 2011
Tipperary, Ireland

Injuries in our flocks is something most, if not all of us, have to deal with at time point during our chicken keeping venture. Whether it's a small, minor scrape, or a life threatening injury, it needs looked after and in most cases taken care of, to ensure the bird makes a fast and full recovery. This week I would like to hear you all's thoughts and practices on chicken injuries and treatments. Specifically:

- What do you have on hand for injuries (in your first aid box)?
- How do you handle injuries and treat them?
- What do you do with the injured bird during it's recovery?

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Araucana enthusiast
Mar 16, 2016
North Central IN
My Coop
My Coop
- What do you have on hand for injuries (in your first aid box)?
- How do you handle injuries and treat them?
- What do you do with the injured bird during it's recovery?
#1: Hen Boost for electrolytes and vitamins, an eye dropper and non colloidal silver as an antibiotic.
#2: Isolate the bird to a dog crate in a quiet area of the house and treat wounds with an antibiotic until they close naturally and don't show any signs of redness.
#3: Feed scrambled eggs with garlic and oregano (for antibiotic effects), encourage drinking by dripping water or the hen boost mix on her beak with the eye dropper, talk sweetly to her and check on her often!


6 Years
Mar 27, 2013
Texas-Just a little bit South of Weird
*Fold-up XL dog kennel
*Poly vi sol w/o iron
*Nutri drench
*Syringes from 3ml to 60ml
*Catheter tubes in 18fr and 22fr
*Blue Kote
*Vet wrap
*Non-stick gauze
*Triple antitiotic w/o any "caine" pain reliever
*Save a chick eletrolytes
*Kaytee baby bird feed

If a chicken is injured, they come into the house where the wound is gently cleaned and dressed as needed and they are placed in my giant dog kennel on a fresh bed of shavings. I give the bird a day to recover quietly and if not eating/drinking I start tube feeding so they don't dehydrate. Each day I offer scramble eggs, tuna, watermelon... whatever might entice them to eat. They also have water and a bowl of grit available. Change bandages if bandaging needed and keep an eye on the wound for any sign of infection. I start out using triple antibiotic and after a couple days start using Vetericyn. I try to keep the wound moist so it can heal from the inside out. I will keep the bird inside until the wound is healed enough that fly strike isn't an issue, then spray blue kote on it to hide the wound from the other chickens to avoid pecking at it. Oh.. and I play music for the bird during daylight hours. They seem to enjoy it.
*edit... I also have my first aid booklet that I've been putting together and adding to/editing all along.
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Dec 9, 2016
I have been lucky so far in regards of injuries on my chickens, the most being broken pin feathers on the feet and once on a chick's tail, but with my quail... They have been keeping me on my toes.

My first aid has corn starch (got it after a bunch of eggs needed assisted hatching, luckily didn't need any then), a roll of tissue and tape for bandaging up any open wounds that can be bandaged, so far haven't needed to use them, a syringe for dripping water/honey water onto beaks for weak birds and also for carefully chipping away eggshell, and an emergency supply of dried mealworms to get any weak or/and sickly birds eating again.

I currently have some quail in 'hospital' tubs being treated, one is a hen who had an infected toe that I treated by washing it and putting cold pressed honey on it, and has been making a recovery, and currently I am slowly re-introducing her and her brother back into the group via the clear container.

Another is one who was suddenly attacked by his brother and had a wound on his nose from the pecking, he is healed now, but he doesn't get along with his brother or any of the other quail I tried introducing him to, so he has his own enclosure.


May 28, 2015
Chesterland, OH
My Coop
My Coop
- What do you have on hand for injuries (in your first aid box)?
Rolled Gauze
Colloidal Silver
Bee Propolis
Fresh Garlic
Kaytee baby bird food
Syringes of different sizes
Needles of different gauges
Epsom Salt
(Penicillin, Cipro, Corid, Valbazen, Elector PSP just in case)
- How do you handle injuries and treat them?
I think treatment completely depends on the injury and the bird. I've held birds in the chicken hospital and let others be with the flock.
I've included a link to my most extensive hen treatment.
- What do you do with the injured bird during it's recovery?
Again I think it depends on several things. I had an older girl who happily became a house chicken getting lots of attention and treats. Others are totally stressed away from the flock. If treatment is possible while they stay with the flock then that is what I'll try to do.
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Project manager
Premium member
7 Years
Jun 24, 2012
Excellent subject!

- What do you have on hand for injuries (in your first aid box)?
A Euthanasia Solution

Not all birds can be saved, so one must be prepared to have a vet euthanize, or know how to do it.

Items that some people use for euthanasia (please research the different methods)

  • Axe and stump
  • Cone and knife
  • Sharp shears for beheading
  • Broomstick
  • Ether for chick euthanasia

Basic Misc Items

Scale to weigh bird
Scale to weigh powder
Dog crate to use as a hospital cage
Heat lamp or space heater.
Heating pad
Hair Dryer for drying off wet birds
Large plastic storage bins
Latex type gloves
Dust mask for when working with powders
Small Wire Cutters (for triming beaks/nails)
Large Wire Cutters (for trimming spurs)
Nail clippers
Scissors with rounded tips to avoid puncturing skin
Magnifying mirror
Bolt cutters
Electrical tape
Duct tape
Bottled water

For wounds and other injuries
  • Saline
  • chlorhexidine
  • betadine
  • gauze pads
  • no stick gauze pads
  • gauze rolls
  • Vet Wrap
  • syringes for irrigating wounds
  • suture kit
  • styptic powder
  • antibiotic ointment
  • squirt bottle for irrigating wounds
  • Medical tape
  • hemorrhoid ointment for prolapse
  • Suture kit

Lice and mites
  • Permethrin dust
  • Permethrin spray
  • Ivermectin
  • Mineral Oil
  • Epsom Salts
  • Iodine
  • Copper Sulfate
  • Zip Ties
  • Scalpel
  • Vaseline
  • KY Jelly
  • Rubbing Alcohol (for wetting feathers)
  • Q-tips
  • Cotton balls
Nutritional Supplements
  • NutriDrench
  • Rooster Booster Poultry Cell
  • Poly-Vi-Sol (no iron)
  • Niacin or Brewers Yeast (for ducks)
  • Calcium Gluconate (liquid)
  • Calcium Citrate (pills)
  • Probiotics
  • Electrolytes
  • ACV (unpasteurized apple cider vinegar)
Needles and Syringes
  • 1 ml syringes
  • 3 ml syringes
  • 18 gauge needles
  • 22 gauge needles
  • 30 ml or 60 ml catheter tip syringes
Feeding Tubes/Supplies (click here for source)
  • Size 8 french for small chicks
  • Size 14 french for larger chicks
  • Size 18 french for adults
  • Size 30 for large adult birds, like ducks, geese, turkeys, and peafowl
  • Kaytee Exact Baby Bird Food

Chick hatching kit
  • Tape for curly toe (electrical, masking, medical, duct, etc)
Cleaning Supplies
  • Bleach
  • Oxine and activator (please research this thoroughly before using)
  • Tek-Trol (please research this thoroughly before using)
  • Sponges
  • Scrub brushes
- How do you handle injuries and treat them?
It depends on the type of injury.

- What do you do with the injured bird during it's recovery?
Some you can "treat and street" (treat and return to flock), others will require different levels of care.

I'll come back and add more after I get my thoughts together.


Grading essays - be back soon!
Jun 15, 2016
State of Jefferson
I think sometimes there may be the perspective that all this preparation is "over kill"... but it's not. Incidents can happen in the blink of an eye, and suddenly you are presented with a situation for which you have no time to run down to your local drug store or farm supply - or, it's 3 stinkin' A.M. and you can't, even if you wanted to! One thing I have learned to do is look at the kit, and instead of viewing something I haven't used as a waste of money, I now view it with thankfulness that I haven't had to use it - and hope that most of it just stays right up there on the shelf! (But it's a great feeling to have it when you need it!)
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