Yarrow Power

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.

Jen spoon-feeds Geraldine a strong infusion of dried yarrow which she also uses to cleanse the wounds.

Jen spoon-feeds Gerry a strong infusion of dried yarrow which is also used to clean the wounds.

2 Days Later

2 Days Later

All better!

Two weeks later: All better! Gerry now lives in a coop of her own near the house where she hangs out with the cats and dogs.

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2 Responses to Yarrow Power

  1. Yarrow is amazing. Thanks for posting this. I love the picture of Gerry receiving her infusion on the spoon! She seems to know it is good for her. My most recent experience with yarrow treating animal wounds was over the holidays when my rat terrier Jaxx got into a fight with my parent’s springer spaniel, Gus. I immediately treated Jaxx externally with a yarrow fomentation (the bite was on his muzzle so I couldn’t soak it) and mixed the infusion into his food. He recovered, no problem. Sadly, my stepfather wouldn’t let me treat Gus with yarrow. He treated Gus with hydrogen peroxide. The wound got infected and Gus had to go to the vet, experience pain and trauma, etc., not to mention a $250 vet bill. Sigh.
    I have an essay on yarrow on my site, too, if you are in the mood for more yarrow stories.

  2. Hi Kate, yes, isn’t yarrow wonderful! I could fill a book with amazing stories of yarrow. I panic when I run out of dried yarrow! Jaxx is lucky to have you! Did you ever read the Herbalist of Yarrow by Shatoiya de la Tour? Jen

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