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herbs to calm injured animals

 
gardener
Posts: 2021
Location: Pacific Wet Coast
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Being a "chicken/duck farmer", birds seem to get themselves in trouble occasionally. Their ability to heal from a physical injury is incredible, but getting them calm enough to even inspect a wound can occasionally be a challenge. Are there specific herbs and in what forms have people used for helping their feathered employees to calm down enough for emergency care?
Examples I've had to try to treat in the past:
Khaki with a mink bite. (I find Khaki Campbell ducks quite high strung.)
Muscovy with an eagle slash (calm ducks but completely unused to being handled)
Chickens who've either been pecked or scraped on who knows what - we try to keep their areas safe, but they somehow manage to find trouble regardless.
 
pollinator
Posts: 1981
Location: La Palma (Canary island) Zone 11
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I was thinking about the "normal herbs" for humans but actually, do you want something stronger that can have a narcotic effect? How do you make them take by the animal if they don't want to?

It is often easy to look at a wounded animal because they are in shock so they are in a freeze state, which is the best natural analgesic.
 
pollinator
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When wild bird rehabilitators have to pick up injured birds such as hawks, vultures, owls, etc., they put a towel or some other piece of fabric over the bird's head to help keep them calm so they can handle them. I imagine if it works for wild birds, it should also work for domesticated ones. It'd be much faster acting, too, compared to waiting for an herb to take effect (should a strong enough herb exist).
 
author & pollinator
Posts: 179
Location: Roseburg, Oregon
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Yes, putting something over chicken's heads does calm them down immediately. I have done it in the past.
 
Jay Angler
gardener
Posts: 2021
Location: Pacific Wet Coast
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Yes, I do try to cover their heads, but our field where they hang out is a long walk from our house, so I was thinking more like herbs that would smooth over the whole scary business that I could tuck in their feed bowl or put a few drops in their water. I already tend to put a little magnesium in their water as it calms and relaxes humans, and any bird who's laying eggs benefits from a little so I believe it can't do any harm. I'll also tuck a fresh dandelion leaf in, as I know it's got lots of good nutrition. If I've got a freaked out chicken in my laundry tub, I use Homeopathic Arnica montana in water on a shiny spoon - chickens will peck a shiny spoon and usually drink at least a little of it. I was just looking for other ideas that might be useful.
 
pollinator
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I know of lavender being used on dogs. I wonder if lavender is universally calming to animals?

Not much experience with birds, sorry.

For cats: I knew an elderly cat that was confused and cried a lot. The owners used a pheromone collar, and the cat quieted down and stopped wandering so much. It was night and day. Something like this one:




 
pollinator
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Good day, Rescue Remedy. Bach flower essences are great for calming animals. With our animals I often use flower essence.

I have made chamomile tea into a mist to spray on rashes and I've lavender essential oil into the coop and barn for calming in general.

Great question. I feel like we should know more about this. This is how people treated animals in the past, with plants. We need further explore these options.
great question!  
 
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