Chicken First Aid Kit & Sick-Bay. Be prepared.

There is no way of knowing when a sick or injured chicken is going to need immediate, medical attention, so it is best to be prepared for the worst.

There is no way of knowing when a sick or injured chicken is going to need immediate, medical attention, so it is best to be prepared for the worst. During an urgent, medical situation, acquiring supplies should not be the priority. Knowing the types of emergency supplies to have on hand is as important as having a safe, quiet space in which they can recover.

I always keep a basic chicken first-aid kit handy and stocked with: *Vetericyn VF wound and infection treatment: There are different formulations of Vetericyn- I have used them all and I prefer the Vetericyn VF spray primarily because the veterinary formula is three times stronger than the regular Vetericyn hydrogel spray.

I use my infirmary space for multiple purposes, including: a maternity ward for brooding hens, a time-out space for aggressive or problem chickens, a broody-breaker box and as a grow-out space for chickens being integrated into the flock. I’ll show you some of my Sick Bay set ups shortly, but first, let’s look at chicken first aid essentials.

 Chlorhexadine 2% Solution spray

FIRST-AID KIT ESSENTIALS

   essentials include:

As long as there are no internal injuries, an aspirin drinking water solution can be offered to an injured chicken for a maximum of three days. Add 5 aspirin tablets (325 mg x5) to one gallon of water.

Some other items you may wish to keep in a more extensive first aidl kit for your chickens are:

ProZyme- digestive & nutritional support for ill chickens not eating normally
Old towels (for calming a chicken during bumblefoot surgery, for instance, bedding for very sick birds in the house) Dog Training Pads-floor padding for sick birds

*If you should find yourself without electrolytes in an emergency situation such as <heat stress or dehydration, Gatorade can be substituted or simply make your own electrolytes with items commonly found in the kitchen. Click here for the electrolyte recipe.

Some of my bumblefoot first-aid supplies, which also include Vetericyn Wound and Infection Hydro Gel.
Rachel Divider

Learn about treating a broken beak here.

This Olive Egger chick was injured somehow, losing part of her upper beak,. I treated her with Vetericyn twice a day and was able to return to the flock within a week!
Vetericyn Wound & Infection treatment spray healed this baby chick's deep wound in 13 days!

This baby chick was pecked by a broody hen, causing the wound shown. I sprayed Vetericyn on it 2-3 times per day and within 13 days the chick was completely healed with new feathers emerging through the site of the wound!

Wire sided pet crate

SICK BAY FOR CHICKENS

It is best to know how and where a sick-bay will be set up before it becomes necessary.

The basic requirements of a sick-bay are that it provide enough spacious for the chicken to move around in, is accessible for cleaning, and has a space for food and water apart from where it can relieve itself. It helps if it’s in a dimly lit, quiet place that is a little warmer that the chicken was accustomed to outside. There are countless options for a sick-bay. I prefer wire-sided pet crates or a rabbit hutch setup.

 Hutch in garage used as infirmary space

When baby chicks requiring supplemental heat are injured, they should be physically separated inside the brooder from the other chicks. This is the setup I have used successfully with bullied and bullying chicks. Dividing the brooder with hardware cloth or window screening allows the chicks to share a heat source and remain visible to one another, which makes reuniting them later easier.

A rabbit hutch makes a fantastic hospital ward for chickens.

 A rabbit hutch makes a fantastic hospital ward for chickens.
The injured bird should be 100% healed with no visible signs of blood or scabbing before being returned to the flock.
How to help and care for a sick chicken

CARE OF A SICK CHICKEN

Information about caring for a sick chicken can be found HERE.

 How to care for an injured chicken.

CARE OF INJURED BIRDS

Any time a bird is sick or injured, the bird must be housed separately from the flock until the injury is completely healed to avoid further injury, potential spread of a contagious illness, cannibalism and death. The recovery area should be a safe, quiet living space where they will remain until they are fully recovered. Much more about caring for injured birds HERE.

Treat the injured bird like a stranger when reintroducing it to the flock. I recommend the Playpen Method for a conflict-free reunion. Again, patience is the key to success.

RETURNING INJURED BIRDS TO THE FLOCK

1) The injured bird should be 100% healed with no visible signs of blood or scabbing before being returned to the flock. (Covering it up with a purple dye product is not an acceptable substitute for time and complete healing.)

AND

2) Treat the injured bird like a stranger when reintroducing it to the flock. I recommend the Playpen Method for a conflict-free reunion. Again, patience is the key to success. Learn about the Playpen Method HERE.

Rachel Divider

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Marie at Rural Living Today

Excellent article! Not only a list of supplies to keep on hand, but those great pics of sick bay possibilities. Thanks!

Kathy Mormino, the Chicken Chick

Thank you Marie! My pleasure.

shelley cornell
8 years ago

There's so much good information here that I was debating about which article to comment on for the contest but opted on this since it's information that I have not necessarily formerly had. Thanks so much for putting so much good information on this blog in one nice, tidy place! Sea Shelley (facebook name)

Kathy Mormino, the Chicken Chick

Thank you for stopping by, Shelley! 🙂

Trena Boger
Trena Boger
8 years ago

I'm a new follower. Thanks so much for the info about spraddle leg. Although I have a dozen hens already, I just ordered my first batch of chicks so I'll be on the lookout when they get here for any problems they might have with their little legs.

Kathy Mormino, the Chicken Chick
Reply to  Trena Boger

Hello Trena! Thanks for joining me here. I hope you don't ever need any of this information but it's nice to have it just in case.

See you on Facebook!

Wanna Be Pioneer
8 years ago

We can't wait to get our first flock of chickens! And we are always prepared ahead of time (cars have supplies for emergencies, bug-out bags packed at home, first aid kits at home and in car, fire extinguishers at home (several) and in car, etc.)so this information really appealed to our "be prepared" brains! 🙂

Kathy Mormino, the Chicken Chick

You must have been a scout! You will love your new chickens. Post pictures on my Facebook page when you get the new babies! http://www.Facebook.com/Egg.Carton.Labels.by.ADozenGirlz

Kimberley Carville
Kimberley Carville
8 years ago

Very informative. Thanks.

Kathy, the Chicken Chick

Thanks, Kimberley.:)

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