Chicken First Aid Kit

chicken first aid

 

Owning chickens is full of surprises. It best to always be prepared for any situation you may find yourself in. Knowing yours and everyone else's luck, your chook will decide to pull a sickie at 8pm on a sunday night... Below is a list of items I think are important in the ol' chicken first aid tool kit. 

A quick checklist. I'll go over these in detail below.

  • Wormers
  • Anticoccidial (coxiprol)
  • Red mite treatment
  • Lice powder 
  • Electrolyte 
  • Supplements, Berocca, The Good Stuff, Probiotics 
  • A - Scabies cream (Scaly Leg Mites)
  • ACV
  • Over the counter pain relief (Aspirin)
  • Wound spray or antiseptic 
  • Bepanthen cream
  • Saline for flushing
  • Epsom salts 
  • A range of bandaging
  • Syringes 
  • Scissors, tweezers and Q tips
  • Thermometer 
  • Latex gloves
  • A heat source 
  • Dog Crate
  • The contact details of a good chicken vet

 

Wormers

A good worming program is crucial to healthy chickens. You can do this by prophylactically worming throughout the year or getting a faecal egg test done to see if you have a worm problem in the first place.

 

Wormers


Anticoccidial

A must have if you rear young chicks. Coccidiosis is an intestinal tract infection caused by a single-celled organism (a protozoa) called coccidia. While chicks are prone to contracting this protozoa, it is not unheard of that adult too can become infected during immunity challenges. 

There are a couple of products you can buy for this, while both are water treatments, their modes of action are slightly different. 

Coxiprol (recommended) - Active: Amprolium. Coxiprol works by slowing the replication of the protozoa allowing the body to mount it immune response. 

Baycox - Active: toltrazuril - Works by eradicating large amounts of the protozoa.

Immuno competence against coccidiosis is maintained by a small active number of coccidia remaining present in the intestinal tract. 


Red mite treatment

Red mite control is a constant battle for some. Monitoring, cleanliness and the introduction of predator mites are three key things you can do to keep their numbers down. I also recommend having a solid back up plan, incase a major infestation occurs. Carrying enough Exzolt on hand to dose your flock is always sensible.


Lice powder 

Vet max powder is an effective and long lasting repellent for controlling lice on chickens.

Vet max powder  Active ingredient: P-Menthane. Apply an even spread of powder over the affected area on the chicken and/or the bedding. No withholding period for meat or eggs.

Electrolyte 

The main role of electrolytes is to maintain the bodies ionic and water balance. During stress, the bird’s electrolyte balance gets altered.

P180 is a water-soluble powder containing essential body electrolytes and glucose. Developed by Dr. Colin Walker to help replenish the loss of electrolytes when the birds suffer from heat stress and /or dehydration.

P180

Supplements

  • The Good Stuff - There is a lot of great research coming out around the use of carvacrol (the active ingredient in oregano oil) and it's positive effects on poultry health. 
  • Multivite Plus - The best value water soluble multivitamin for your money. This tiny pot make 1000L.
  • Berocca - An excellent cheap source of B vitamins and glucose. Use one tablet per one litre of water. For use during supportive care or heat stress.
  • Probiotics - Perfect to help restore the gut health after antibiotics or to help balance the microflora during times of stress. 


A - Scabies cream (Scaly Leg Mites) 

Scaly leg mites can be painful to get rid of. We have the most success treating scaly leg mites with a two prong approach.  Apply A - Scabies cream on your affected chickens legs once a day for up to 3 days. We recommend pairing this cream treatment with a course of Ivermectin.


ACV

A water acidifier is always a good idea for keeping bad bacteria low. It doesn't have to be ACV, any vinegar will do. Dosage rate 5ml ACV to the litre of water. 

ACV

Over the counter pain relief (Aspirin)

Aspirin is a good short term pain relief option for chickens when you are in a tight spot. 

Note: Do not use aspirin products for longer then 3 day as it can cause stomach ulcerations. Always seek veterinary advice if you think your bird is in pain 

 
Wound spray or an antiseptic solution 

Electrolysed water is my favourite thing for wounds. Wound Care + is colourless, non toxic and has some really great research coming out around it's multiply uses.

wound care +


Bepanthen cream

Bepanthen Antiseptic Cream is a multi-purpose antiseptic cream that helps protect damaged skin from infection and also assists in the treatment of cuts, abrasions and dry skin.

Good uses include,

  • Keeping pox sores from going dry.
  • Repairing legs after scaly leg mite damage. 
  • Minor comb/wattle damage


Saline for flushing

It's always good to carry saline for flushing wounds, or the very least for flushing eyes when you need to. 

Epsom salts

Great for soaking the dreaded bumblefoot. 

A range of bandaging

Everyone has different bandaging they like using. The ones I like to have include, 

  • Vet wrap.  
  • Cotton crepe bandaging.
  • Padding bandage.
bandaging
 

Syringes 

Having a range of syringes is always useful. I recommend having at least a 1 and 2 ml syringe in your kit. When a chook is dehydrated and no longer drinking, your ability to syringe water will be the difference between life and death in some occasions. Also excellent to have for liquid medications. 


Scissors tweezers and Q tips

I don't need to over explain these things, they come in handy for a lot of things 


Thermometer 

Having a thermometer is handy for taking an adult chooks temperature. 

  • Restrain the chicken by holding it facing backwards under your non-dominant arm. Use the arm to gently hold the wings against your body and slide the hand underneath the legs and squeeze them together.
  •  Gently insert the thermometer into the cloaca.
  • The chicken’s temperature is relatively high compared to humans and should be between 40.6°C and 41.7°C. Freshly hatched chicks might have slightly lower body temperatures.


Latex gloves

Hygiene is number one when dealing with sick birds! Protect both yourself and your bird by simply wearing some protective gear or at the very least giving your hand a thorough wash before handling them. 

 
Chicken first aid

A heat source 

There are plenty of different heating implements on the market. I personally love heat panels as you don't have to keep reheating them. The idea around giving your bird extra warmth is a simple one. The less energy they have to spend on trying to keep themselves warm, the more energy they have to divert to more import things, like bolstering their immune response.

You will be surprised what a little bit of heat can do for a bird.

 

Dog Crate

Having somewhere to pop your chook while they're not feeling their flashest is crucial. The instinct to mask sickness is very strong in birds. It also takes up a lot of their much needed energy. It's good to separate them from the flock so they can relax a little during this time. 

 

The contact details of a good chicken vet

If you are New Zealand based, we offer a telemedicine service country wide. Click the link below to find out more. 

https://www.avianempire.co.nz/products/vet-consultation

 

Book with us

 

 Written by Jemma McLean


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