This question comes up all the time amongst my clients, and this is a great subject to cover.
Here is my handy guide to helping you get started.
Grow your kit slowly for your needs
Most poultry owners will create their first aid kit over time according to the needs that arise in their flock.
For example, in my location I do not have any problems with stick fleas, but other areas of the city of state may have high incidences of that pest. So the product that treats stick fleas would not be in my kit.
You might not want to inject your birds,preferring your local vet to handle that job, instead. So you will not need needles and a sharps disposal box.
It really is a pick 'n' match creation.
Keep an eye on the expiry dates of products in your kit. So do not be tempted to buy products that are on sale because of their used by date, such as Probiotics or Triple C. These need to be checked regularly to keep them fresh for use on the flock.
Check with your vet if you have an medications issued to you from their clinic as to their shelf life, if uncertain.
So what is in my personal first aid kit for chickens?
Here are a few ideas to help you get started. Remember, these are not limited but a general guide.
- Wound Application: Iodine Solution (e.g. Betadine)
- Pest Control: Pestene (sulphur powder for treating lice and mite)
- Gut Care: Probiotic Powder (e.g. Protexin, Vetafarm, etc.)
- Worming Product: Nilverm, Kilverm, Big L, Aristopet, etc. (Levamisole based product)
- Olive Oil – treats impacted crop, etc.
- Vaseline – treats leg mites and prevents frostbite on comb
- 5ml syringes (no needle)
- Scissors (medical)
- Nail clippers
- Wound Application:
- Cetrigen spray
- Medical Grade Melaleuca Honey
- Gut Care:
- Electrolyte Solution
- Water Soluble Vitamin Supplement
- Pest Control (on chicken & in shed): Malaban Wash or Maldison 50
- Coccidiosis Treatment: Amprolium 200
- Respiratory Care: Humidifier with essential oils (Thyme, Oregano & Rosemary) – assistance only, not cure
- Wound Care:
- Self-adhesive bandages (e.g. 3M Nexcare)
- Melolite or Melolin (sterile wound padding)
- Pain/Inflammation: Metacam (Vet Product)
- Pest Control: Ivermectin (Vet product)
- Respiratory Care:
- Alamycin La (Vet product)
- Triple C (antibiotic powder)
- 1ml syringes (disposable)
- Needles 23G ¾ TW (0.6mm x 19mm) (disposable)
- Sharps Disposal Unit
- 20ml+ syringe with feeding tube (20cm long aquarium grade)
Have a second coop, pet tent or cage ready for isolating any sick or injured birds to contain outbreak, infection and to prevent the other birds from pecking.
As soon as any poultry present with a medical issue, please isolate them immediately without delay. Containing the situation must be your highest priority.
I hope this has been of some help. If you can think of any other essentials in a first aid kit, please comment below.