Like any good Momma, I had to have a medical kit set up for the animals. I already had some basics for the cats & the dogs but with the chickens I needed a lot more. Who knew these 2 legged little things would have to have 10 times the amount of stuff that a dog needed in an emergency. I tend to go over board with things but with this I was glad too, since I have had to use all over it at one time or another with the chickens.
I have 2 medical kits set up now, one in the house the other in the chicken coop though some stuff I have to bring out with me to the coop since here it tends to freeze in the winter & liquids don't do well in there.
Ok now for the long list of items I keep & what I used some of them for. You might as well grab a cup of coffee or tea its a long list!
Gauze: sheet & roll
Vetrap (horse) self sticking bandage tape: This is one of my favorites for using on the feet for bumble foot. Its almost impossible for them to remove.
Iodine wound wash
DMSO: I learned about this living at home where it was used for muscle injures on the sheep. It has this weird effect that if you get even the tiniest amount on your sink you taste a garlic taste that last forever! Anyway I use it for leg problems & extended prolapsed vents.
Alushield Spray: I first learned about this when I took care of hoorses in my 20's. I had a colt that went thur barbed wire & the vet had me spray this on the wound to seal & protect it. When Cashmire fought off the raccoon or fishercat his comb got really cut up so I put this on it after cleaning it to help seal it from infection. Please note this is a silver color & the other Chickens will peck at it so you might do as I did & separate the wounded one from the others until the silver wears off or you wash it off.
Styptic powder: used to stop bleeding
Hemoriod cream: good for use with extended prolapsed vents
Vicks: great to use for nose, chest, lung colds
Pick-no-more lotion: I use this since I have a few hens that like to peck at the tail areas of the other chickens, they rip out feathers & cause the area to be red & inflamed. This stuff I guess tastes bad so they tend to leave the area alone long enough for it to heal.
Baby Nose suction cleaner: This has become one of my favorite items when the chickens get nose drainage problems, specially it the colder months. It cleans out the sinuses really quick so I can get the Vicks on the beak & help them breath better. Just like babies they will fight you on this, but it really does help.
Nail trimmers: I use this to trim the beaks as well as any overly long toe nails.
X-acto blades & holder
Shot needle & syringe: I have used this for draining abcesses so I don't have to cut them open if not needed.
Plastic syringes: these are great if you have to force fed, water or liquid medicate.
Turkey Baster: Same as the plastic syringes but can put more food or liquid into a chicken.
Doggie/puppy pee pads: This is one invention I am very happy with since I often have a sick or weak hen in the house. Dragging hay, bedding ect is so messy & laying down newspapers can cause their legs to slid out from under them. I use these in the ER cages & can change them as often as needed.
ER playpen, dog crates, cat carriers, rabbit cages: I have at least one of these set up in the diningroom at all times since I never know when I will need one. I have even used a few towels in the bathtub as a temp home for a sick chicken.
Vits: I keep on hand pellet & liquid chicken vits plus I have regular liquid baby vits for the babies or really sick ones that can't handle a dose of the stronger vits. I also mix this with their wet oatmeal in the winter a few times a week since it can get so cold here.
Dry Baby food cereals, baby food jar vegs: These come in handy when you have a sick or listless chicken who needs good type food fast. I have found that when I can't get them to eat if I mix this with their dry pellets/crumble they will try to eat it.
Chloroform: Yeah I know this one is not normally on someones medical list but since I have a chemist for a husband I was able to get a small bottle of it. When I know my chickens won't make it or are too injured to survive instead of the hand over the nose & beak or snapping their necks I can put them to sleep with the chloroform & by keeping it over their nose once they are asleep it will stop their lungs & then heart. They go so much more gentle this way.
Before I ask my husband to get me some chloroform I would turn them upside down then hold their beak closed & fingers over the nose holes. This took forever it seemed & they would fight which tore me up. It only takes a little on a paper napkin but be warned if you inhale it you may end up with a headache. Trust me, I leaned over it while tending to the chicken & got a monster headache.
Face mask: yeah I wasn't using it when I chloroformed that one time! I found some great ones at a drug store that are like the ones they use in a hospital & I like them better than the shop type ones. These I don't have problems with my glasses fogging up as I do with the others.
I am sure you have or will have to deal with bumble foot sometime while you have chickens. If they fly down on too hard of a surface over & over they get a huge bump on the bottom of their foot usually with a scab. messing around with the gauze i came up with a handy idea that lets the chicken walk easier & the others don't pick on it. I cut off a 3 inch piece of the rolled gauze & re-roll it really tight to make a tube then I tape the ends together to make a donut. where the donut hole is I use a bit of cotton ball with some antibactic cream on it. I put this over the bumble foot area so it cushions the area then use the Vetrap self sticking bandage tape to wrap the bottom of the foot to cover the donut & then bring the tape over the top & wrap it around the leg part. I don't go overboard on the tape as I want them to be able to walk comfortably but have the protection from the dirt ect. By the time its done they look like they have an old fashioned men's spat on. I keep this on until its super dirty then change it until the area is back to normal without the scab. I have one girl Madeline who seems to live in them since she is forever having bumble foot on both feet. She has no trouble with them & is so used to them now she no longer tries to tear them off. I also get the different colors of Vetrap bandage tape to blend in with the leg...I have black & also got a cream color. for those of you who don't know where to find this, you can find it at any feed/livestock place that sells items for horses.
I have used everything in my medical kit at one time or another with the chickens but try not to use the rubbing alcohol or witch hazel when I don't need to since it burns & I hate to put them thur more pain. But I do use them to clean the X-acto blade, scissors, ect so I don't transfer any more germs to the chicken.
Most of these items are also used for my dogs & cats if needed, specially the bandages, cotton balls & iodine. I also keep baby farm animal dried milk in my pantry to use if needed along with the extra jars of baby food.
Well I hope this is of help for someone who like me needs a good medical kit & can't find a poultry vet anywhere in the state.
Have a great Chicken day! M'
- I am a 50+ yr old stay at home wife of a scientist/Military man. I raise chickens for eggs, rescue dogs & cats & spoil them all. I am a silver/metal smith & stained glass artist. I, at one time was an secondary art teacher & Social Studies teacher. I am sorta a eclectic earth mother who recycles everything I can get my hands on. Enjoy working with power tools & even built my own 10ft by 6ft chicken coop. am pretty much interested in learning everything I can thur books, magazines & friends. I enjoy veggie gardening & doing gardens just for the chickens. I also sew & love making pioneer style comfortable clothes for myself & adding vintage lace when I can find it. I am pretty easygoing, but need my coffee first before I am ready to face the world & day.