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First Aid Kit for a Backyard Chicken Flock

Part of the Chicken Health For Dummies Cheat Sheet

Your chicken-keeping philosophy will determine how well stocked your backyard flock first aid kit should be. At a minimum, every flock keeper should have a hospital cage in which to assess and isolate a sick or injured chicken, and have the ability to humanely euthanize a hopelessly ill bird. Other items you may find useful in your first aid kit are

  • A spare heat lamp and bulb (non-shatterproof) or other heat source to warm a chilled bird (especially chicks). Steer clear of clamp-style heat lamps; get the kind you can hang securely from the ceiling.

  • An electric fan, mister, or other cooling device to cool an overheated chicken.

  • An antiseptic solution and a 10ml syringe for flushing wounds.

  • A pair of forceps (tweezers) for examining wounds and picking out debris, and a pair of scissors for removing bandages.

  • A package of gauze sponges for blotting and cleaning wounds.

  • A method to stop bleeding, such as blood-stop powder, a styptic pencil, cornstarch, or a tea bag.

  • A roll of 1-inch wide adhesive cloth bandaging tape, and a roll of 2-inch wide self-cling bandaging tape for dressing injured feet or wings.

  • A package or bottle of a poultry vitamin and electrolyte preparation to mix with drinking water.

  • A tube of water-based personal lubricant for dealing with a prolapsed vent or suspected egg-bound bird.

  • Your veterinarian’s phone number.

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