Poultry emergency kit, photo by Fala Burnette
Have you ever heard the line about “prior proper planning”? The basis of the phrase, regardless of the way you may have heard it told, is that preparation ahead of time can help prevent a negative outcome. The same can be said for those who have a backyard flock or are considering adding poultry to their residence. I speak from experience when I say that having an emergency kit for your animals can sometimes be a lifesaver, and that there are moments when you do not have the ability to drive 30+ minutes away living rurally to the nearest store in hopes they have what you need in stock. At times, there will be things your store may not carry, and waiting on something to be delivered in the mail could be pushing the clock on potentially helping your animal.
I recently reached out to the community of BackYard Chickens, a massive online forum of dedicated poultry enthusiasts that I’ve been a member of for over 6 years, and asked users to provide input for basic supplies that can benefit poultry keepers. There were many great suggestions, and I have compiled some of those basic and suggested items below. Many of these are products we have used ourselves over the years to help our own chickens and ducks. You will find helpful, clickable links that lead you to product listings for some of these items. Please keep in mind, seek the care and advice of an avian veterinarian if you have one (try and find a name and number BEFORE you need it), but here are some poultry emergency kit suggestions to have on hand. (Disclosure: the following are Amazon Affiliate links, meaning if a product is purchased directly via the link it provides a little support to the Homestead here, thank you!)-
- Large Crate for Separation/Individual Treatment - there are cases where an individual bird may need to be contained in a quiet area with easy handling. A large dog crate is helpful for this.
- Vet Wrap
- Waterproof Tape for Bandages
- Non-stick Gauze
- Sharp Scissors or Trauma Shears
- Gloves - select a kind that will fit you correctly, and make sure to select a type based off of any allergies
- Rubbing Alcohol
- Antibiotic Ointment
- Syringes - for giving an oral solution or flushing wounds
- Headlamp - a hands free way to have visibility when working with your animal
- Petroleum Jelly (Vaseline)
- Epsom Salt
- Vetericyn Plus Wound Spray
- Blu-Kote Antiseptic Spray
- Kwik Stop Styptic Powder - aides in stopping bleeding for very minor cuts, but primarily used after nail clippings.
- Corid - management of coccidiosis
- Permethrin Spray and/or Dust - products designed to help control lice, mites, fleas, ticks, and flies that are listed by the manufacturer
- Nutri-Drench - nutritional supplement
- Sav-A-Chick - electrolyte and probiotic solutions
Other supplies can include things such as cotton swabs, cotton balls, other poultry vitamins, heating pad, heat lamp, small extra waterer and feeder for isolation, a closed container to put your supplies in, and cleaning supplies for the workspace around your bird(s) such as bleach. Again, please consult an avian veterinarian if at all possible, and thoroughly read instructions and research before using any product. Hopefully this list will provide you with the incentive and basics to create your own poultry emergency kit. Let us know what you have in YOUR kit!
Fala Burnette is a homesteader with her husband at Wolf Branch Homestead in Alabama. They are currently building their own log cabin and milling their own lumber, along with raising heirloom crops in the Spring and tanning furs during the Winter. They have a small flock of rescued chickens and Khaki Campbell ducks. Read all of Fala's MOTHER EARTH NEWS posts here.
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