Episode 41 Show Notes

Dealing With a Chicken’s Broken Leg

One of our good hatchery customers had an incident last week when she was moving her chicken tractor. One of her hens got her leg caught under the tractor and her leg broke.

A broken chicken leg can be reset and splinted, but he ability to recover will have much to do with her age. Be sure to separate her from the rest of the flock until she heals.

If she is not bleeding, you can also give her aspirin for the pain.

What is the Best Bedding Material?

David emailed us from Scotland to ask what is the best bedding material for chickens. We are convinced that pine shavings are the best material to use. Other have used sand, grass clipping or newspaper shreds, but pine shavings dry quickly and hold up pretty well.

What Goes in the First Aid Kit?

Bob emailed us from Maryland to ask if we have a complete list of what belongs in your chicken first aid kit. We talked about this in two episodes, but we never compiled both lists together… so here it is:

  1. Protection Items
    1. Latex gloves
    2. Eye protection
    3. Mask
  2. Simple Instruments
    1. Dog nail clippers
    2. Tweezers
    3. Scissors
  3. Blood Stop Powder or BluKote
  4. Wound Cleaners
    1. Vetricyn Wound Care – great for general use
    2. Chlorhexidine
      1. Can also use hydrogen peroxide diluted to 50% this may destroy healthy and dead tissue
    3. Triple Antibiotic Ointment
    4. Do not use one with pain reliever… make sure the ingredient list does not include ingredients that end in “caine” or “cane.”
  5. Pain Relievers
    1. Aspirin
      1. Do not use on birds who are bleeding… it will thin the blood and make it difficult for blood to clot
      2. Crush 325mg of tablets in a gallon of water
  6. Supplements
    1. Vitamins & Electrolyte powders for drinking water
      1. Great for general use but it’s not a bad idea to set one or two aside for the kit so you don’t run out and need it
    2. Apple Cider Vinegar
  7. Diphenhydramine Liquid
    1. Benadryl and similar products
    2. Used if a bird gets stung or bit by something and has a reaction
    3. Use 1 ml of liquid for an adult bird

Introducing Your Dog to Chickens

Whether you have chickens and are adding a dog or have a dog and are adding chickens, introducing the two can be a nerve-racking experience until you see how well they get along.

Beforehand, spend some time researching the dog’s breed and personality so you have a better idea what to expect when you put them together. In the hands of a good trainer, nearly any dog can be taught to be good around chickens, but we are tackling this from the perspective that you are probably not a dog trainer (and neither are we).

When introducing chickens to a dog, we go through five stages. At each stage we are looking for signs of aggression or even just too much attention towards the birds. At any negative sign, we immediately remove the dog from the situation and start again later when the dog has calmed down. Depending on the dog, this process could take minutes or weeks.

Stage 1
We start by making sure the chickens are safe and secure in the run of their coop. We then allow the dog to get sight of the chickens from a distance and start working our way closer as long as he is behaving calm.

Stage 2
When the dog able to be near the run without any bad behaviors, we will let him off the leash and see how he behaves.

Stage 3
If he is good around the coop when he is off the leash, we then put him back on the leash and let the chickens out to see how he behaves.

Stage 4
If that goes well, we will let him off the leash when the chickens are out of the coop and see what happens. For some dogs, this will be as far as they go. But for most people, it will work just fine to only have the chickens out loose when they are around.

Stage 5
After much observation, you may get to the place where you can leave the dogs along with the chickens out even when you aren’t home.

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