Cappers Farmer Blogs > North Georgia Homesteading

Medical Supplies For The Barn

Jaymie PierceIf you are raising livestock, than you have probably had some sort of animal in your house. Whether it's because they are sick and you are trying to rehabilitate them, or they are needing to be bottle fed, I'm sure you have turned a room into a small livestock stall. 

I have had plenty of chicks in their brooders in the house. I turn my master bathroom into a hospital and nursery quite frequently. I also have had goats and ducks in the house as well. Where do you keep your ill animals or babies you are raising? I always say, “If you haven't had a hen pecking at the shower door while showering, you haven't lived on a farm.” I love my animals and always want them to live a happy life and be treated the best that I can.

Currently I have a handicapped rooster living inside. I am not sure what is wrong with him, he was sort of a free gift when I bought a goat. They asked if I would take him and I couldn't say no. So, here I am with this poor rooster that I am not sure what to do with right now. He eats well, but he can't walk well and he seems to show signs of some sort of neurological situation. He is a sweet boy, and he may or may not have a lot of time left with us, but as long as I have him he will live out his life being well treated.

We have a nice little fenced-in raised bed garden that we put him out into during the day, if the weather is nice. He seems to love to wander around the best that he can and peck in the grass. We bring him in and put him in his cage in the bathroom at night. It's working for the time being. We plan on building him a little house out in the garden very soon. 

Our handicapped rooster.

When rehabilitating animals that don't fit in the barn, you have to make a choice to cull or do something unorthodox to keep them safe. I am sure there are a lot of opinions on spending time and energy on an animal that has something wrong with it, but when you love chickens like I do, the answer seems so simple. How do you handle an animal that you can't put with the others?

There are a lot of reasons that an animal becomes ill and needs medical treatment. There isn't always a vet available when you need one and, when farming, you learn to become the first responder to animals that need medical assistance. A few years ago, I never would have thought I would be able to give animals shots or diagnose different conditions. You learn to read a lot and absorb a lot, and it's wonderful if you have other farmers you can get advice from when you need it. 

A goat in quarantine.

I have used the Internet as a great resource with helping my animals and figuring out what is wrong with a chicken or when our goat had her first kids. It's been a valuable resource and you can find really helpful information from other farmers and homesteaders. 

Feed stores carry a lot of medications and syringes and other medical supplies that you should keep on hand when raising animals. There are pet supply companies on the Internet where you can order supplies and medications as well. Learning what to keep on hand for emergencies is paramount. You never know when you need something quickly.

Items To Have On Hand:

Measuring cup – tsp/oz/ml
Digital thermometer (You should have a chart with what animal you have and what their normal temperature should be.)
Elastic bandage
Cohesive flexible bandage
Gauze pads/sponges
Cloth tape
Scissors and tweezers
Disposable gloves
Betadine Surgical Scrub
Rubbing alcohol
Veterinary lubricant or (KY Jelly)
Hydrogen peroxide
Blood stop powder
Dr. Naylor Blu-Kote Spray
Powder-form antibiotics for poultry
Injectible penicillin
Triple antibiotic ointment
Nursing bottles and appropriate nipples

I am sure there are many other items I could list, but these are items that I have on hand and keep on hand in case of emergencies or if one of my animals falls ill. I believe in doing all that I can to save a life if I can, I want all my animals to be happy and healthy. What do you keep in your medical bag for the barn?