Warning: This post contains graphic photos of our wounded chicken.
With 2 dogs, 2 cats, 3 goats and an average of 15 chickens at any given time Jen and I make sure that we always have both dried yarrow and Yarrow Tincture on hand. Yarrow (Achillea millefolium) has been known for centuries for its hemostatic and wound-healing properties, accompanying soldiers into battle as recently as World War I. We’ve used it to treat puncture wounds, abscesses, gashes to udders and to ward off infection after I stitched up a hen’s crop that was ripped open by a hawk (who fortunately was chased away by our dogs). We’ve also used it to treat our own misadventures with kitchen knives. Both of us have seriously sliced our fingers open – Jen while chopping greens, me, onions – and have packed the wound with yarrow in lieu of stitches.
I’ve always meant to document the power of yarrow, but never got around to taking photos until recently when our oldest hen Gerrry was nearly pecked to death by the new hens. I found her one morning with her head down and bleeding profusely while 2 of the buff orps stood over her. I called to Jen to get the water boiling and we went to work on her, cleaning the wounds with a strong yarrow infusion which we also spoon fed to her as an antibiotic.