Grit Blogs > The Chicken Chick

Chicken First Aid Kit & Emergency Sick Bay. Be Prepared.

 Chicken First Aid Kit Polish Chick 

There is no telling when a sick or injured chicken is going to need immediate, medical attention, so it is best to prepare for emergencies. Knowing the types of supplies to have on hand is as important as having a safe, quiet space in which they can recover. I use my infirmary space for multiple purposes, including: a broody den for hatching chicks, a time-out space for aggressive or problem chickens, a broody-breaker crate and as a grow-out space for teenagers being integrated into the flock.

FIRST-AID KIT 

I always keep a basic first-aid kit handy and stocked with: Vetericyn, vitamins & electrolytes, epsom salt, non-stick gauze pads, Vetwrap, gloves, Epsom salt, sterile scalpels, tweezers, scissors and Duramycin, antibiotic ointment, Nutri-Drench and povodine-iodine. During an urgent, medical situation, acquiring supplies should not be the priority.

 Chicken First Aid Kit2 

 Chicken First Aid Kit Vetericyn 

 Chicken First Aid Kit supplies  

CAUTION: It is very important that the antibiotic ointment used on chickens NOT contain a PAIN KILLER. Any ingredient ending in “caine” or “cane” (eg: benzocaine, lidocaine) can be harmful, if not fatal to chickens.

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

  • a hen saddle  
  • a chicken diaper 
  • a flashlight
  • dog nail clippers
  • styptic powder 
  • Popsicle sticks
  • Preparation-H cream 
  • Superglue 
  • Old towels

SICK BAY FOR CHICKENS 

The following photos illustrate some of the arrangements that I have used over the years to house sick or injured chickens. They work equally well for segregating broody mother hens.

The hen below had just weathered a difficult and stressful bumblefoot surgery. She needed to rest and this was the only way to get her to do that. She has vitamins and electrolytes in her water due to the amount of blood loss, which was unusual. 

 Chicken First Aid Kit Sick Bay1

Injured chickens should be kept apart from the rest of the flock, in a safe, quiet living space, until they are fully recovered to protect them from being bullied or pecked to death. 

It is wise to know how and where a sick-bay will be set up in advance, before it becomes necessary. The basic requirements of a sick-bay are that it is safe, is spacious enough for the chicken to move around in, is accessible for cleaning and there's a place for food and water in it. It helps if it's in a dark, quiet place that is approximately the same temperature that the chicken was used to in the coop. There are countless options for a sick-bay. These are a few I use, depending on the time of year and nature of the injury.

A small dog crate surrounded by a chicken wire corral in the basement.

Chicken First Aid Kit sick bay2 

A small crate underneath the droppings board in my 4' x 6' coop kept this chicken in and her nosy neighbors out.

 Chicken First Aid Kit Sick Bay3 

This hen is modeling the rabbit hutch in my garage.

   Chicken First Aid Kit Rabbit Hutch Sick Bay 

Temporary cage inside my 8' x 8' coop, which works well for many purposes, including integrating new flock members. 

If you enjoyed this blog post, I invite you to follow my blog at www.The-Chicken-Chick.com.

Join me on Facebook! 

jennifer llanes alderson
7/8/2012 4:28:35 PM

Oh duh helps if I read the post in full. Hope I win a cool T-shirt.


jennifer llanes alderson
7/8/2012 4:26:13 PM

Really helpful post. I am putting together my chicken first aid kit this week. We just got our chicks a little over a week ago. Now i have a better idea of what I need. Maybe I will be the lucky winner and get the supplies I need.


kathy mormino
6/27/2012 3:36:44 AM

Happy to help, Rebecca! I'm sure your rooster doesn't hate you, he's probably just doing his job, thinking he is protecting his girls. It sounds like they all had a rough start in life, such a shame. I'm happy for them that they are now well fed and in a loving home. Congratulations on your new pets!


kathy mormino
6/21/2012 1:10:45 AM

Elissa, congratulations! You have won your choice of a Grit Magazine Country Skills series special editions! Please email me with your preference and shipping address: Kathy@The-Chicken-Chick.com


kathy mormino
6/21/2012 1:07:42 AM

Lori, if you go to the very top of this page and click on the "SHOPPING" link, you'll find lots of great books and magazine products for sale!


kathy mormino
6/21/2012 1:06:21 AM

Thank you Elissa!


kathy mormino
6/21/2012 1:05:29 AM

That's wonderful to know, Melinda (except for the psycho roo part). ;) Thank you!


kathy mormino
6/21/2012 1:04:24 AM

My pleasure, thank you!


kathy mormino
6/21/2012 1:04:11 AM

I'm sorry about your hen, Michele. Regardless of how long we own hens, there will always be more to learn about caring for them.


kathy mormino
6/21/2012 1:02:32 AM

Thank you Emily. They're fun to photograph. :)


kathy mormino
6/21/2012 1:02:15 AM

Thank you Charlotte. :)


charlotte thomas
6/21/2012 12:29:47 AM

Always full of great info! Thank you


michele keeley
6/21/2012 12:15:56 AM

Thank you for the tip about the antibiotic + pain relief. I had no idea and now I understand what may have happened to my little cuckoo marans hen. She went for my dog's food and the dog who is normally wonderful with my birds nipped her comb. She had a little bit of blood come out so I rinsed it off and put a bit of the antibiotic + pain relief ointment on her. She was fine for a few hours running around with the rest of the gang but in the morning when I went to open the coop she was dead. ;-( I've had chickens for a couple of years and felt I had a pretty good grasp of what to do/not to do but it just goes to show.... you always have room to learn!


emily echo
6/20/2012 11:56:14 PM

Very nice blog! Love your pics of Chicks!


brainyfarmwife
6/20/2012 11:55:52 PM

Great advice, thanks for putting that all together in one spot for us!


melinda smith
6/20/2012 5:35:58 PM

Excellent advice as usual! This information helped me through a pretty rough time when my rooster turned psycho and decided to attack one of his girls. She is fine thanks to the advance set-up of my first aid kit and Sick Chick Bay!! Great information and friendly advice!!


elissa shriver
6/20/2012 5:26:34 PM

Thank you for your always helpful blog posts. I look forward to reading them everytime. Much appreciation!


stanley
6/20/2012 2:37:40 PM

my best friend's sister-in-law makes $89/hour on the computer. She has been fired for five months but last month her pay was $14088 just working on the computer for a few hours. Read more on this site MorePay3


kathy mormino
6/20/2012 1:01:45 AM

I totally agree Rachel. I used it on myself and my children too!


kathy mormino
6/20/2012 1:01:16 AM

Don't tell your husband that, Nancy, I'll be in big trouble!


kathy mormino
6/20/2012 1:00:45 AM

Tell your Alaskan peeps I said HELLO Kristin and I'm so impressed that they are literate. LOL! Thanks for stopping over tonight. :)


kathy mormino
6/20/2012 12:59:51 AM

Thanks Sara!


kathy mormino
6/20/2012 12:59:41 AM

Thanks so much, Steven. I appreciate that. ☺


kathy mormino
6/20/2012 12:59:21 AM

LOL Debra. You're welcome and good luck! :)


rachel shannon foshe
6/20/2012 12:40:19 AM

Vetericyn is one of the best products on the market. I use it on all my animals, from Horses to chickens.


nancy walker
6/20/2012 12:07:31 AM

http://www.facebook.com/Egg.Carton.Labels.by.ADozenGirlz makes you want to rescue all the little ones!!!


kristin buchanan
6/19/2012 11:57:47 PM

Our Alaskan Chooks love your blog! So much good information, a must read!


sara tryzelaar
6/19/2012 11:55:23 PM

This is a great post - we are missing a few things so now I know what else I should get. Thank you!


steven willenborg
6/19/2012 11:52:04 PM

Awesome article! She always has good information to give people! Well dome!


kathy mormino
6/19/2012 11:17:35 PM

VetWrap is available at most feed stores. I buy mine at Tractor Supply locally and it's in the equine section. It can also be purchased online at Tractor Supply as well as many other sites. It's the BEST product, can't recommend it any higher.


kathy mormino
6/19/2012 11:16:35 PM

Thanks so much! ☺


kathy mormino
6/19/2012 11:16:26 PM

I'm so glad to hear it, Coral! My pleasure sharing the information with you!


kathy mormino
6/19/2012 11:16:02 PM

I'm sure many of the items are similar, Alex, but each breed/species will have their own specific items too.


kathy mormino
6/19/2012 11:15:17 PM

My pleasure, Peggy. Thank you!


kathy mormino
6/19/2012 11:15:04 PM

Thank you Kristyn. :)


kathy mormino
6/19/2012 11:14:54 PM

Thank you Liz! Chickens are a HUGE hobby in Great Britain, Liz, you will be in very good company with more neighbors than you likely realize!


kathy mormino
6/19/2012 11:10:55 PM

LOL Taylor, good for you! And thank you. :)


kathy mormino
6/19/2012 11:10:04 PM

Thank you Amy! ☺


kathy mormino
6/19/2012 11:06:41 PM

Thanks Shelly, you're right!


kathy mormino
6/19/2012 11:06:28 PM

Thank you Jolene. It's never too late to get prepared for the unexpected. :)


kathy mormino
6/19/2012 11:06:04 PM

Thank you Colleen!


kathy mormino
6/19/2012 11:05:57 PM

Thank you Traca, glad to hear you're preparing!


kathy mormino
6/19/2012 11:05:13 PM

Thank you Penny. I love Grit too! :)


kathy mormino
6/19/2012 11:04:59 PM

Molly, you said it! They keep us guessing, don't they? :)


kathy mormino
6/19/2012 11:04:41 PM

Thank you Wendy!


kathy mormino
6/19/2012 11:04:31 PM

Thank you and good luck!


kathy mormino
6/19/2012 11:04:20 PM

Thanks Krista! ♥ My CT Peeps!


kathy mormino
6/19/2012 11:04:07 PM

Thanks Lori and good luck!


debra luraas
6/19/2012 10:45:14 PM

Wow - I need to pick up a few things . . .thx The Chicken Chick™ of Egg Carton Labels by ADozenGirlz.™ while you're at it: pick me - pick me ♥ I'd love the Grit special edition.


rebecca haley
6/19/2012 10:01:53 PM

FED, I read you daily, like the chicken bible you are. I am a new chicken mommy of two weeks, and got three girls from a not very friendly keeper of TOWERS of chicks in a smelly garage. I think one is a rooster, and it hates me. I did nurse one of the Rock pullets from a badly pecked neck, before I even found out about the first aid kit. I can't thank you enough for all the useful information, and help I couldn't get elsewhere.


anonymous
6/19/2012 9:34:06 PM

Great article, but where do you get Vetwrap?


franciechaos dunlap
6/19/2012 9:34:06 PM

Great article! Sharing!


coral day
6/19/2012 8:51:08 PM

I just learned some new stuff. I need to go to town & get supplys and get my kit set and ready. Thank you so very much for the wonderful info.


alex summersell
6/19/2012 8:49:36 PM

That is a good kit to have on hand. I need to get one together for all my animals.


peggy arteberry
6/19/2012 8:36:38 PM

thank you for all of the info!! Interesting!


kristyn kenney
6/19/2012 8:32:18 PM

Great Post! Lots of info!!!


liz oliver
6/19/2012 8:30:33 PM

This is great, I'm in the UK but from the USA and I had chickens as a kid, now I've got the bug to get a few hens to have as pets and layers... :)


lori pate
6/19/2012 8:27:21 PM

this looks great.....where can this grit book be purchased?


taylor loude
6/19/2012 8:24:41 PM

Awesome! I feel like a worldly chicken woman thanks to your wealth of knowledge!


amy peare
6/19/2012 8:22:52 PM

always great information! Thanks Chicken Chick! :D


shelly wade
6/19/2012 8:21:14 PM

Great advice! No one wants to use any of this, but it's best to be prepared for emergencies.


jolene bates
6/19/2012 8:17:17 PM

Great Article! I always learn so much. I don't have any type of a first aid kit started. Guess I better get one.


colleen walker
6/19/2012 8:16:38 PM

Great post


traca
6/19/2012 8:16:14 PM

Great advice as always! We have our kit together, but you mentioned a few things we could stand to add!


penny gray
6/19/2012 8:16:03 PM

Love Grit and your blog! Working on getting my chick first aid kit together now.Would love to win one of the magazines!


molli allen
6/19/2012 8:14:47 PM

Thanks yet again Kathy! Informative as always! We never know what may happen out in the coop!


wendy montreuil
6/19/2012 8:14:45 PM

Great information-thanks so much!


s lynn frampton
6/19/2012 8:13:34 PM

Informative thanks1 I hope to win a backyard chickens guide


krista varszegi
6/19/2012 8:12:54 PM

Always great information. Always following. ; )


lori williams gearheart
6/19/2012 8:12:07 PM

Love the idea of chicken first aide! Would love to win an issue of GRIT magazine!


roland small
6/18/2012 1:27:15 PM

my best friend's sister-in-law makes $89/hour on the computer. She has been fired for five months but last month her pay was $14088 just working on the computer for a few hours. Read more on this site MorePay3.com


kathy mormino
6/18/2012 1:17:39 AM

Congratulations Wendy! You have won a "Property of My Backyard Chickens" tee shirt! Please email me with your address and tee shirt size: Kathy@The-Chicken-Chick.com


kathy mormino
6/18/2012 1:14:05 AM

Thanks Alicia. :)


alicia tony parker
6/17/2012 8:57:50 PM

Great ideas


kathy mormino
6/17/2012 7:16:37 PM

Wendy, is your tractor the type that a chicken can stay in safely overnight? Mine isn't, so I'd have to take them inside every night. Sometimes you want to have a plan for a hen that you want to keep inside in a dark, quiet place too: for instance, when my hen had prolapse, I didn't want her oviduct working, so to keep it quiet and put a pause on egg-laying, she was kept in the dark until the prolapse calmed down a bit.


kathy mormino
6/17/2012 7:13:19 PM

I'm a big fan of online shopping whenever possible, Jamie and the Vetericyn is available at Amazon.com, which is where I got mine. Amazing stuff!


kathy mormino
6/17/2012 7:12:29 PM

As long as it's not 'chicken IN a basket,' Donna, that's great. :)


kathy mormino
6/17/2012 7:12:03 PM

My pleasure, Susan! I know you'll love the Vetericyn product line as much as I do.


wendy remley
6/17/2012 1:34:05 PM

That's a really smart idea. I've thought before how flat footed I'd be caught if I had a chicken injury or illness. I do have a small chicken tractor that would work for a sick bay, except it's full of chicks at the moment.


jamie lynch
6/17/2012 3:30:56 AM

Yes we do have special places for our chickens in need of special care. And looking at this 1st aide kit, I see I have some shopping to do. Thanks for the heads ups;,)


jamie lynch
6/17/2012 3:28:51 AM

yes we do have safe areas for our chickens in need of special care. And looking at this chick 1st aid kit, I have some shopping to do.thank you for the heads up on this;,)


donna bernhard-rogers
6/17/2012 3:10:03 AM

I do have a little kit going on (its a chicken basket actually, thats what i call it)..but do need to add to it :O -Donna Rogers


kathy mormino
6/16/2012 2:51:51 PM

My pleasure, Susan. I'm glad Prudence is doing well. Vetericyn makes an eye wash as well, you may wish to look into keeping that in you kit.


kathy mormino
6/16/2012 2:51:08 PM

Good for you, Pam!


kathy mormino
6/16/2012 2:50:54 PM

My pleasure Melissa. I hope it brings some peace of mind knowing that you're ready if something should happen.


kathy mormino
6/16/2012 2:50:27 PM

Sara, I would love to see your sick bay area in your coop! Would you mind sharing on my Facebook page?


kathy mormino
6/16/2012 2:49:59 PM

Nobody wants to think about our feathered pets getting hurt or sick, but it's a comfort knowing that we're prepared if something were to happen.


susan bert
6/16/2012 1:15:03 PM

Thank you Kathy! I will definitely be putting a kit together this week, especially after my scare with Prudence. You're the best!


anonymous
6/16/2012 1:12:20 PM

Thanks Kathy! I will definitely put together a kit this week, especially after my scare with Prudence! You're the best!


pam baum
6/16/2012 11:50:45 AM

I have about 1/2 of what I need, but at least I did get the Vetericyn this past week. I'm working on the rest...


melissa hovinga
6/16/2012 11:21:08 AM

I just started gathering everything I need, thanks for the list!


sara sweatman
6/16/2012 10:17:04 AM

I do have a first aid kit - I am missing a few items! We also have a separate coop area built in for if we need it.


martha waugh
6/16/2012 4:58:48 AM

I hadn't really thought about anything happening to my ladies, but now I'm thinking I need to put together a first aid kit. Already making a shopping list for tomorrow.