You have to be prepared to handle emergencies on the homestead! Sometimes they involve people but often they involve animals. Learn how to give shots, treat wounds, do an episiotomy for an animal struggling during birth, how to turn babies, pull babies, castrate, de-horn (if you do that) and more! You don’t want to call a vet for every little thing that comes along. The more you learn to do the more money you will save. Our vet, Nick, taught us to handle a lot….I’d call about an emergency and Nick would say “now Cheri you can do this yourself – I’ll walk you through that.” I’d tell him he was wrong and he’d tell me I had a choice – learn to do it or do without. He always came if it was a true emergency but he was definitely a teacher. What a great vet!
Many times we learn because we have to do things ourselves. We had a goat delivering for the first time – she was pregnant with a huge buckling. She just couldn’t pass that baby. We hadn’t been taught how to do an episiotomy but we knew that they could both die if she didn’t get help. Of course it was after hours – isn’t that how it always happens? So my son Joshua used a scalpel and made a small incision, that baby popped right out and mama jumped right up! All was well! I used my Green Herb Salve on that incision and it healed up quickly.
We’ve recently had to do something I never thought we’d do…amputate!
Best we could figure is that she either fought off an attacker or a hawk tried to make off with her and then dropped her. Guineas struggle much harder than a chicken would.
First thing Elijah did was cover her head. We keep small muslin bags with drawstrings in our vet box. When guineas or chickens need to be worked on they are much calmer when they can’t see. He then cleaned out the wound well making sure the maggots were gone, He cut off the piece of leg and her foot that was pretty much hanging by skin and trimmed up the bone as best he could – she did not appear to be in any pain from this. He used one of our favorite essential oils liberally on the wound, then bandaged the leg and used vet wrap to protect it.
We placed her in our “recovery room” to keep her safe and to be able to monitor her daily.
We were surprised how quickly her skin grew over that wound and she began walking on it. I call her GiGi (for Gimpy Girl!). Although she moves slower than the rest of her flock, she quickly adapted! Instead of hopping, she began to walk on that stump. She may limp but she can walk!
Are you prepared for emergencies on your homestead? Do you have vet supplies for emergencies for whatever critters you have on your homestead?
Things we keep on hand:
Appropriate thermometers for whatever animals you have. A stethoscope. Weight tapes for each kind of animal (goats, cows – whatever you can’t pick up and put on a scale!) A trocar if you raise cows (for bloat). First aid supplies, we keep scissors, bandages, vet wrap, essential oils, my salves and plenty of colloidal silver for washing out wounds! Some means of covering the heads of any birds you are raising. Antibiotics, syringes and needles of different sizes appropriate for what animals you are raising, electrolyte solutions for each kind of animal, milk replacer in case mama dies during birth or rejects her baby. Something to stop bleeding – grow white yarrow – it has antibiotic properties and stops bleeding! Helichrysum has similar properties – keep a bottle on hand! Ask your vet what they recommend you have on hand in case they aren’t available when you need them. That’s a basic list to start with.
Learn to do as much for your critters as possible! You’ll be surprised at what you can do when you are the only one your critter has available at the moment! We were!