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DIY Blue Kote For Chicken Wounds

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DIY Blue Kote for Chicken Wounds

Sooner or later, if you have chickens, someone is going to be on the bottom of the pecking order and you will have a bald chicken on your hands. You can easily treat your chicken’s wounds with this DIY Blue Kote recipe.

Whether your chicken is at the bottom of the pecking order, you have an aggressive rooster (read about what to do with a rooster here), one day you will have to treat a chicken injury. Fortunately, most injuries can be treated at home, thus saving on an elaborate vet bills.

We had our girls for years and everything was copacetic, until it wasn’t.
Not only was our feathered girl bald but bleeding, and you could see the peck marks on her poor head.

Pecking Order

Have you noticed who is at the bottom of the pecking order in your flock? Chickens live by this unwritten law in order to keep order among the flock. The pecking order is something they work out for themselves and doesn’t require your involvement.

Generally there is a chicken at the top and they take their position on the roost. This pecking order can also be witnessed with food, treats, free range time and in other observations. The strongest are at the top while the weaker ones are at the bottom.

Sometimes everyone can live happily ever after. And sometimes it can look like a scene in fight club.

Why Chickens See Red

Chickens are carnivores- NOT vegetarians. As a matter of fact, chickens have been known to be cannibals too.

Chickens can see in many colors but are strangely attracted to red.

Chickens see a wider range of color than us. We have three cones which enable us to see red, blue, green, and variations thereof. Chickens have another cone that detects ultraviolet light. They also have a double cone that likely enables them to detect motion. To make their color vision even sharper, they have a special structure that adds an oily drop to the cones, which helps them to filter out all but a particular range of light.

This is why you see water buckets red, feeding trays and dishes are red and coops are often painted red. This is to attract the chickens.

Blood is no exception. Chickens are attracted to blood like dogs are to a bone. If a chicken is bleeding the rest of the flock will peck at the wound obsessively. If left untreated? Well, think of Silence of The Lambs.

Your best defense is to remove the injured chicken and treat it’s wound with our DIY Blue Kote.

What’s With The Blue?

Simply put, blue acts a camouflage while your chicken heals.
It disguises the wound and blood red so the other chickens won’t continue to peck at it.
As an added measure, since our Blue Kote is safe, I apply it to all the chickens, not just the one that is injured.
That way they can’t tell the difference between them.

DIY Blue Kote For Chicken Wounds

As you have probably noticed, it’s actually spelled Blu- not blue? However, majority of the public does not know this little fact so when they search for it on the internet they enter ‘blue’, hence- my name. Not to mention I don’t want to get into any legal trouble.
But since we are on the subject, let’s talk about the store-bought Blu-Kote for a min.

Blu-Kote has been recommended for years by chicken experts all over the world to treat injuries.
However, unless your chicken is strictly a pet, this is NOT good advice. Their bottle strictly warns NOT to use it on food animals. In addition, it doesn’t mention using it on chickens AT ALL! The only animal recommendations on the bottle are for dogs and horses.

Warning(s): Not for use on food producing animals.

DIY Blue Kote For Chicken Injuries

In addition to the warnings and limited use, Blu Kote is pricey. Especially when you can make your own for just pennies.

DIY Blue Kote For Chicken Wounds

Making your own Blue Kote is crazy easy and you probably already have the ingredients on hand- bonus!

DIY Blue Kote Ingredients


Step One

When I first treat one of my injured feathered friends, I clean their wound with Vetericyn. It is what my vet recommend and I trust it.
You can easily use warm soapy water if you prefer.

Vetericyn is:

  • Safe for use on all animal species
  • Safe, Non-Toxic, no alcohol, no steriods or no antibiotics
  • Non-irritating and non-sensitizing
  • Safe if licked or ingested
  • Works on all animal skin types
  • Veterinarian recommended

Step Two

After the wound is clean, pour a small amount of Iodine in a glass or plastic bowl.

  • Dynarex Povidone-Iodine, UPS Prep Solution is a Topical Antiseptic Microbicide often used for preparation of the skin prior to surgery.
  • Dynarex Povidone-Iodine helps reduce bacteria that potentially can cause skin infection.
  • Wide used as a First Aid antiseptic, Dynarex helps prevent the risk of infection in minor cuts, scrapes and burns.
  • For Hospital and Professional Use.

Step 3

Add a small amount of Blue Food coloring until you achieve a good blue tint.
You can use any blue food color that is safe for human consumption.

Step 4

Apply your DIY Blue Cote to your chickens injury and let dry. I use a Q-Tip to apply the Blue Kote to the injury.


Add Ins

You can add many items to your DIY Blue Kote. I’ve seen people use raw honey, herbs, witch hazel and essential oils.
I like to keep my recipes simple and sweet but there are other options.


DIY Blue Kote For Chicken Wounds-

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Sunday 26th of July 2020

The ingredient that makes Blu Kote blue is gentian violet. It's not just a dye--it's antibacterial and antifungal. It's also astringent, so has a "drawing" action.


Wednesday 17th of March 2021

Dawn, that may be, but gentian violet still a synthetic dye and is contraindicated in food-producing animals, as Amber points out above.



Tuesday 23rd of June 2020

I have a hen that was attacked by a dog 11 days ago. The wound is about 1 1/2" -2" under her wing. I've been treating her with a daily bath, vetticyn spray and Manuka honey. She's been in a dog cage in the basement to keep the flies away while she heals. Her wound is much better, she seems to love the spa treatments but it's getting old. Now she is trying to dust in the wood chips in the cage, so I think she's feeling better. I'm more worried about fly strike than I am about pecking. Would the blu kote deter flies if I let her back outside and let her be a normal chicken again? How do you tell if the wound is healed enough to let her dust? I hate to go through all this and then jump the gun and blow it.

Sylvia Swain

Tuesday 14th of April 2020

I have a hen who's a year old and has never had tail feathers .... Can't catch who is plucking them used a "no pick" product ... but doesn't last long ... Excited to make and use this "blue kote" Thank you !!!!

Pecking Order In The Hen-house-What is Pecking Order? - My Homestead Life

Friday 18th of January 2019

[…] Once a chicken, or chickens, start pecking an injury, they won’t stop. You need to remove the injured chicken and treat their injuries until they are healed. For our Blue Kote recipe for injured chickens, click here.  […]


Monday 24th of December 2018

What’s the purpose of the blue dye? Why not just leave it iodine colored?

Amber Bradshaw

Monday 24th of December 2018

You can opt to leave it out, especially if you can't find a plant-based dye, but I found that the iodine is still too 'red' and attracts other noisy chickens. The whole purpose of the dye job is to distract from the red blood color to allow the chicken to heal.