Chickens are like all other animals that can become injured or sick and require immediate care in order to recover. A fight can occur between birds causing injury, or your bird could be attacked by a predator.
You can easily do the basics with a few pointers. However, if something is bleeding excessively or we’re dealing with broken bones, puncture wounds from dogs and cats, or similar emergency-type situations, that’s when you need a veterinarian.
Things to take notice of:
- Your chicken should hold its head high and even. Wryneck can be caused by local infections involving the middle ear and by trauma.
- The comb should be red, upright and free of scabs. If it’s not red the bird could be anemic or could have lost a significant amount of blood.
- The head should be free of swelling; swelling around the eyes can occur from sinus infections and trauma.
- The eyes should not be cloudy and should be free of discharge.
- The nostrils should be clear and free of any discharge, crust, and scratches
- Bandages & medical tape
- Use bandages & medical tape to cover wounds and discourage pecking. For treating injuries Vetwrap works well. It is a self-adhering bandage used for animals. The great part is it sticks to itself, but not to fur & feathers so it doesn’t cause damage when you need to remove it. Use the Vetrap to secure the non-stick gauze pads in place.
- Use iodine to disinfect any wounds.
- Probiotics, superfood and garlic powder
- Pestene Powder & Diatomaceous Earth
- Syringe or Dropper -Not just handy for administering medicine, a syringe can also be helpful if the chicken isn’t drinking on its own, or for feeding, if you need to mix up a liquid diet to keep her strength up.
- Great for preventing frostbite. It won’t treat it once they have frostbite damage, but a layer of vasoline rubbed on combs & wattles forms a moisture-resistant barrier to keep frostbite at bay. It’s also very helpful for treating scaly leg mites.
- Antibiotic – A great broad-spectrum, over-the-counter antibiotic to have on hand is Oxymav B.
- Nail trimmers, scissors, and tweezers
- Use nail trimmers to keep your flock’s nails and spurs trim, scissors to cut bandages, and tweezers to remove any foreign objects.
- Use cornstarch to stop bleeding.
- Use saline for eyewashes to remove foreign objects or flush out wounds.
- Torch and batteries
- Use a torch in dark corners of the coop or night-time chook run visits.
- Latex gloves
- Use latex gloves to prevent spreading infection and keep your hands clean.
- Pet crate, box or a small coop
- Use a pet crate/cage or ventilated cardboard box to isolate contagious hens while they recover from illness or injury. A small coop is great if your bird needs to be isolated for any length of time. Keep in mind, the coop needs to be predator-proof and well ventilated. Also, if a chicken is kept away from its flock for too long, integration back into the flock will need to be done carefully.
- Vet contact info
Alternatively, try our First Aid Kit, for all you need to take care of your chicken’s first aid.
Please note: I am not a veterinarian, just a chicken owner & lover sharing my opinions and experiences. Any advice on caring for animals or diagnosing & treating medical conditions for animals is for informational purposes and should be evaluated by a trained veterinarian.