We try to raise our chickens as naturally as possible and that means no antibiotics or other medications that make their eggs unsafe or unhealthy to eat. Lots of preventatives go a long way, fortunately. [Read here how to use Diatomaceous Earth, Apple Cider Vinegar and Garlic in natural chicken keeping] But as careful as you are, or as well as you treat your hens, too often in backyard chicken keeping, injury or illness occurs that needs to be treated quickly. I recommend keeping these 8 first aid kit essentials on hand.
They are all-natural and have no side effects or withdrawal periods (time during which eggs from the treated hen shouldn't be eaten), but between them, you should be equipped to treat nearly anything.
1. Vetericyn - non-toxic, this gel spray kills 99.9% of all bacteria, viruses and fungi without harmful steroids or antibiotics. It speeds healing, cleans wounds and treats infection including bumblefoot.
2. Nutri-Drench - this molasses-based liquid packed with nutrients, helps resistance to disease, boosts immune systems, corrects vitamin deficiencies, helps with heat stress, improves appetites in sick birds and increases the body's response to other treatments. Excellent to give to new chicks to ease the strain of shipping.
3. Blu-Kote - an antibacterial/antifungal spray for wounds, cuts or sores. Has the added bonus of being purple which prevents further picking at injuries from other birds who might be attracted to red blood or raw skin.
4. Kocci-Free - an organic, all natural antibiotic/anti-parasitic that helps boost the immune system and rid the body of the coccidia parasite. Also kills other viruses, bacteria and fungus.
5. Poultry VetRx - a 100% natural alternative to antibiotics, this camphor-based formula cures respiratory ailments, scaly leg and eye worm.
6. Honey - a natural antiseptic with natural healing properties, honey is obviously also non-toxic if inadvertently eaten.
7. Saline Solution - a bottle of regular saline solution is perfect for rinsing dust or dirt out of watery eyes or cleaning a wound.
8. Cornstarch - a fast way to stop bleeding effectively.
These items, along with some gauze pads, tweezers, a small pair of scissors and vet wrap or first aid tape will ensure you are prepared. It's easy to just administer some antibiotics at the first sign of illness, but not necessary in most cases. These natural products treat many many symptoms effectively.