Make your own saline wound wash

A few weeks back a friend brought me an injured chicken to treat. He had been ripped open by a raccoon or other predator (it had scurried away before she could get a good look at it) I had everything on hand to clean and stitch the rooster except one thing. I didn't have any saline solution to rinse the wound. This of course led me to the internet which didn't disappoint. 

make your own saline spray

I was soon faced with a half dozen different recipes for homemade saline solution. What to do? Well, I have to admit I went with what seemed most practical. I mixed up the saline solution recipe, cooled it quickly and got to cleaning him up. It worked, it didn't seem to bother him and he healed up nicely in time. 

Make your own saline solution

However, the day after his 'surgery' I saw the jar with the remaining saline in the refrigerator and I got the idea to fill my nose sprayer with it and also use it on my own skin as I got scraped and scratched up (I live on a's a daily ordeal!) It was an ok solution. Sometimes it seemed too strong, other times it didn't. 

So I've since gone back to the internet and kitchen and tried out several recipes and here is the one I'm happiest with:
8 oz water
1/4 tsp salt (non-iodized) 
1/2 tsp baking soda

Bring your water to a rolling boil. Pour into sterile container and add salt. Mix, then add baking soda. Mix again and allow to cool. Saline can be put into the fridge or freezer to speed cooling but make sure you have a lid on it to reduce chance of contamination. That's it. 

Use it as you would regular saline, Store capped in a glass bottle in the refrigerator, discard after 2 days. Make more as needed. 

Homemade saline solution stored in clear bottle

The original recipe I tried....which did indeed work and not seem to bother the chicken I used it on:
1/8 cup water and 1/8 tsp salt. This is often seen as 1 cup water, 1 tsp salt.....same deal. Why am I telling you the saline recipe I don't like as much? Well, you just might want to try a few different ones yourself. 

Choosing a saline recipe

If you're like me you'll do your own research and you're going to find this same recipe (and about 4 others) on places like chemistry sites and medical info sites. Seems logical that this would be the right one. Which is why I used it the first time. Give it a go. 

This one seems to irritate nasal membranes, but I have used both solutions on small cuts/scrapes and they both felt fine on my skin. I haven't had any large injuries myself, but if I do I will be sure to update this with which solution I used and how it worked! Either way, it's nice to have the recipes on hand in case you run out of saline in your Chicken Emergency Kit.

As always, this is only my experience....Let me know yours!


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I am not a veterinarian or other animal care professional nor do I claim to be. I am simply passing on information that has worked for me and my flock. This information is for entertainment purposes only and is not meant to treat or diagnose any medical condition. Please see a vet if your chicken is ill. Click for my full disclaimer

1 comment:

  1. What about adding calendula or other herbs for the antiseptic qualities?