Is it Murphy’s Law or do most emergencies happen at night or on the weekend when vets and services are closed? I had a dog with a knack for eating foreign objects that required surgery to extricate them. Most of his troubles seem to happen when the vet was closed, adding another whole level of stress to potentially life threatening events.

We live in an earthquake zone and most of us know we should have an emergency to-go bag packed and I’d hazard a guess that the vast majority of us feel like the ‘big one’ will not happen in our time. And from reading posts on several FB farm groups its apparent that most of us are unprepared for all the things that may, and do, go wrong with chickens.

In the 9+ years I’ve had chickens I’ve experienced predator attacks, pecking injuries, a prolapsed vent, an egg bound hen, split beak, bumblefoot, worms, lice, scaly leg and body mites and chicks born with curled toes. I’ve also had birds that just seemed ‘off’ and either recovered, or sadly, died without a diagnosis.

So the question is: are you prepared? Do you routinely check your chickens for parasites or injuries? Do you know what to look for? Or what to do if you find something? Got a good first aid kit?

I’ve assembled a number of things and have them all packed in an easy to carry plastic tote:

  • Vetericyn spray or BluKote (wound care)
  • Poultry Vitamins
  • Piperazine (round worms)
  • Ivermectin (worms, mites, lice)
  • Corid/Amprol (coccidia)
  • Vaseline (scaly leg mites)
  • Polysporin (without ‘caine’, which is toxic to birds)
  • Scalpels (bumblefoot, or other, surgeries)
  • Gauze, non-stick pads, Q-tips, vetwrap)
  • Disposable gloves
  • Lube (for internal exams)
  • Preparation H (prolapsed vent)
  • Tweezers, forceps, sharp scissors
  • Epsom salts (bumblefoot)
  • Crazy glue/emory boards/nail clippers (trimming
    split beaks/damaged nails)
  • Syringes/eye dropper (giving water or meds)
  • Alcohol swabs (cleaning equipment)
  • Tums (calcium)
  • Stop Pick
  • Sheets/towels
  • LED flashlight
  • Heat lamp/heating pad
  • Dog crate/infirmary

Let’s hope you have no need for all of those things, but better safe than sorry. Some of the meds aren’t easy to find and you have to buy them in a size you’ll never get through. When I’ve had to buy large quantities I’ve split the purchase with several other people so we all end up with a reasonable amount, that we can use before the best before dates.


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