It never hurts to be prepared, and you never know when you’re going to need medicine or a cure for something. The thing about chickens is, they’re genetically engineered to not show signs of illness until they’re ready to keel over, because doing so attracts predators. So we have to keep a sharp eye on our birds, checking them regularly for signs of illness and parasites.
I keep a couple of kits filled with poultry stuff: a show prep kit, and a meds kit. That way if I need something quick, I can just grab up the kit and off I go. Of course, some meds have to be refrigerated, but most of my tools and so on I keep in a bag I got at the local hardware store, meant to store tools in. It’s served me well over the years.
So between what you can put together yourself, and what you can purchase ready-made from suppliers, you should be able to keep everything on hand that you’ll need to deal with most emergencies you’ll run into with your chickens.
There may be times when you’ll have a problem you can’t deal with yourself, and that’s when you’ll have to decide if it is worth the cost to seek out a vet near you whom is familiar with poultry; not many are, sadly. And everyone will have to make their own decisions about how much time, energy, and money they wish to spend trying to save a sick chicken, as often they simply cannot be saved if they are extremely ill.
But the good news is, there are a number of good online resources you can use to help you diagnose illness in your birds, and one of the best is found at the links provided by Mississippi State University: http://poultry.msstate.edu/extension/dis eases.asp. Those pages cover it all, viral, bacterial, internal and external parasites, the works. Once you’ve narrowed down what you’re dealing with, you can know the best tool to treat the problem with.
And the various online communities are always helpful too! You can find me online via our website, www.pathfindersfarm.com, or on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/LauraHaggartyPathfindersFarm
Good health to you and your birds!
Laura’s Kit List
In no particular order:
Sevin dust (to prevent and treat mite infestations)
Vet wrap (a great self-clinging bandage for treating wounds)
Dog clippers and file (for clipping spurs, toes, and beaks)
Blood stop (for use when I’ve clipped a nail too close to the quick)
Cayenne pepper (same as above)
Q-Tips (for dabbing Blood Stop on the affected areas)
Applesauce cups (to hold some Blood Stop)
Apple cider vinegar (to assist in the uptake of calcium)
BluKote (a general wound spray)
VetRx (for use around the nose, during respiratory infections)
Tea Tree Oil (for use, diluted, as a topical antibiotic)
Sugar (helps eggbound hens’ vents retract)
Aspirin (for broilers with heart issues, to dissolve in their water)
Probiotics (for birds with vent gleet or other digestive issues)
Tylan Powder (my preferred antibiotic)
Amprolium (to treat cases of Coccidiosis)
Syringes (for any injections I might need to make)
Stretchy Band Aids (for chicks with spraddle leg, you want the “sports” ones, with a little give in them so the birds can walk but still have their hips supported)
My herbal recipe items (see my link: http://pathfindersfarm.com/HerbalMash.html )
Oxine (to dilute for spraying/disinfecting incubators and other items)
Tektrol Spray (for disinfecting just about anything)
Disposable gloves (I buy these a box at a time, use them for all sorts of things)
Scissors (for cutting wraps and bandages)
Pre-Made Kits Can Do The Job
Of course you can also purchase a pre-made Emergency Medication Kit from poultry suppliers such as First State Veterinary Supply, who has one here: www.firststatevetsupply.com/store2/emergency-medication.html. This kit contains nine different products, consisting of the following:
Turmeric (to increase body weight is due to the antioxidant activity of turmeric that stimulates protein synthesis in the enzymatic system of the birds.)
Amprol 9.6 % Liquid (to treat coccidiosis.)
Sulfadimethoxine 12.5 % Solution (to use for the treatment of disease outbreaks of coccidiosis, fowl cholera, and infectious coryza.)
Probiotic (the best product for replacing normal gut bacteria in birds lost by using antibiotics.)
A-Lyte-Amino Acid Concentrate (concentrated Amino Acids in a liquid form.)
Vita-Pro-B Vitamins (contains a full complement of vitamins, plus minerals, electrolytes, and a probiotic all in a concentrated form.)
Replamin Liquid with Iron (chelated minerals including Iron that are designed for rapid absorption.Contains: calcium,magnesium,cobalt,
copper,iron,manganese, and zinc.)
Oxytet Concentrate (a form of tetracycline.)
Wazine 34% Liquid Wormer (for removal of large roundworms from poultry.)
(Complete directions are supplied with the kit for mixing each product by the gallon. Additional information concerning symptoms for such diseases as Coccidiosis, worms, respiratory illnesses, intestinal problems and egg shell, hatchability and fertility problems are included.)