NFU Mutual Smallholding Insurance

Author Topic: Chicken first aid kit  (Read 542 times)


  • Joined Aug 2018
Chicken first aid kit
« on: January 29, 2019, 08:58:36 pm »
So I got my six hens! They looked better than I thought they would.

I’m getting delivery of pellets with wormer tomorrow (something I didn’t think of before - rookie mistake I know). I have got them a vitamin boost to add to their water and some mixed corn as a treat (and also to help keep them warm overnight (or so I’ve read)).

Apart from worrying about keeping them warm, especially the two smaller ones lacking the most feathers, I started thinking about how I would treat wounds. With my dog I usually think if it’s alright to use on a baby it’s alright to use on him (such as sudocrem), but what about hens? I’ve had a look online and find a lot of American things so thought
I’d check in here  :)
Voss Electric Fence


  • Joined Jul 2010
Re: Chicken first aid kit
« Reply #1 on: January 29, 2019, 09:19:52 pm »
Purple spray for wounds, google poultry purple spray and you’ll come across it - doesn’t just help healing but also covers the colour of blood (forget bulls and a red flag - it’s chickens that see red and can peck a wounded animal to death).
Any medication that ends in -caine is never to be used on chickens (novocaine etc).
As for the wormer: take a pooh sample to the vet first to see if they need worming, like antibiotics it’s best not to overdo worming. Test should cost only a few quid. Also, ring around to find a vet experienced with birds, many aren’t, best to know which is before you ever need one.
If you’re worried about cold combined with a lack of feathers, maybe they could temporarily live in an unheated conservatory or garage, or add a cardboard box sideways in their coop as a bedroom as cardboard holds warmth very well. Post a picture of how they look? Once fully feathered they’ll be fine even in frost.
« Last Edit: January 29, 2019, 09:36:03 pm by Eve »


  • Joined Aug 2018
Re: Chicken first aid kit
« Reply #2 on: January 30, 2019, 10:50:17 am »
Thanks so much. I’ll look for the purple spray today.

We’ve lined the roof of the coop with insulation, leaving ventilation. They all seem to fit nicely on the perch so should be able to share heat. I read they generate a lot of heat but don’t have a concept of this- last night was the coldest we’ve had since we’ve been here and struggled to sleep thinking about them!

Struggling to attach pics - will try on the pc later. Two of them are a lot more feathers than the rest. Two more have been plucked up their lower back, and two more have feathers missing from their wings. The worst one just looks like the bones for a wing  :(


  • Joined Dec 2012
Re: Chicken first aid kit
« Reply #3 on: January 30, 2019, 01:18:50 pm »
You need to bear in mind that by putting insulation in you are providing a luxury hotel for red more, especially as the weather improves


  • Joined Apr 2012
Re: Chicken first aid kit
« Reply #4 on: January 30, 2019, 03:13:58 pm »
Are these ex commcercial hens? If so, don't worm them yet, they will be stressed and worming hens can be stressful on their bodies too. Add stress from moving from the farm to you, and stress from worming and you could end up with dead birds. I've done it before... never again. Save the wormer layers pellets and use them in a couple of months when the hens have settled in. As for first aid kits... I don't really have anything special. Maybe some sudocrem for wounds but most chickens are pretty hardy and unless they end up in a fight with a fox shouldn't need much first aid.

As long as the coop is ventilated but not draughty they shouldn't need much insulation added. Give them a handful of maize an hour before they go to bed and digesting that will heat them from the inside.


  • Joined Jul 2010
Re: Chicken first aid kit
« Reply #5 on: February 01, 2019, 01:27:01 pm »
We’ve had similar birds, and just now we have this cold spell, I understand your concern. Do they have an area sheltered from wind when in their run? If you have any clear perspex or other type of plastic sheeting they’ll be grateful to be able to keep out of the wind.

It can be worrying at first when you have poorly feathered birds in cold weather, if dry & sheltered from wind then together with good food and a stressfree environment they’ll probably be ok. Then once they’re fully feathered -which may take a while- they’ll be fine whatever the weather throws at them.

Just keep in mind come April / May that they will need shade and a breeze and plenty of  it throughout summer, so by then you’ll be removing wind protection and strapping dark shade covers onto your run (and during a heatwave you’ll be wishing it was a lot cooler  ;) 


  • Joined Dec 2011
  • Gascony, France
Re: Chicken first aid kit
« Reply #6 on: February 02, 2019, 08:51:57 am »
The chicken's first aid kit is the basically same one as ours. The only thing added is 1" and ½" micropore tape, which is great for binding broken toenails. We combine that sometimes with gauze with tea tree cream and sometimes arrowroot powder for bad bleeding, as broken toenails can be very serious- sometimes the bleeding won't stop on its own. This is really only a problem with older birds that don't scratch about much.

We also have a range of other stuff which rarely gets used, if ever, and probably should go in the bin. We use stockholm tar, applied with a cotton bud, for wounds which can't be bandaged, but it is generally too runny and needs to be left open to evaporate and thicken up. Vaseline is regularly used in Winter to reduce heat loss through the comb and wattles.

It's quite a job adjusting between Winter an Summer, particularly here where the weather is surprisingly extreme. The ideal would be two separate coop and run arrangements- something we've never been able to do.


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