Inside My Livestock First Aid Kit (Updated for 2021)


Why you should have a livestock first aid kit

No matter what kind of livestock you have - even if your livestock is just a flock of chickens or a beloved cat or dog - it's good to be prepared for emergencies. 

Having a well-stocked livestock first aid kit on hand is the best way to be prepared. The question isn't "will my animal hurt itself?" but "when will my animal get hurt?" 

Even if you must rush your animal to the vet, knowing how to render first aid on the way just makes sense.

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How to choose a container for your first aid kit

Let's take a look at my own first aid kit as an example.

I keep my first-aid supplies in a plastic file box that is kept near the back door. I wanted a container with a handle for easy portability, and this box has worked well.

I do wish the lid were a bit more secure though. I have to be sure to close it well so the top doesn't come off when I pick it up. As long as I'm careful, it's ok. And that is my only complaint, otherwise I'm happy with my choice.

The file box I use isn't available any more unfortunately, but this one from Bankers Box is very similar.

Or, if you need more room in your first aid kit, you might want one of these larger file boxes. I have this one for (believe it or not) files, and I did stuff it so full of papers that eventually the handle broke. I had five good years of service from it though and I recommend it as long as you don't let it become too heavy. 

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My first aid kit is focused mainly on goats, although I can use these supplies - and I have! - on any of our animals when needed.

First-aid kit "tour"

Let's start our "tour" at the bottom of the box. You can see that I used a long strip of cardboard inside the container to separate the contents into two sections.

I didn't measure the height of the cardboard or cut it - it was a long piece that I had on hand, already scored and folded, and it just fit perfectly. Serendipity!

If you want to cut cardboard to fit your kit, measure the height of the bottles you'll keep inside and plan accordingly.

One side of the container holds bottles of oral preparations, including a bottle of Nutri-Drench for goats, Pepto-Bismol for goats with tummy troubles, and two bottles of Bloat Release.

The other side is for topical things. There are several rolls of Vet Wrap, a spray bottle of iodine, wound spray, and a quart-size zippered bag containing other items including betadine wipes, bandages and even Band-Aids for people. (I often need one when I'm outside. Apparently I'm a bit of a klutz.)

I didn't plan it this way, but the height of the cardboard left a space on top of the bottles that's about three inches deep.

I found a shallow box that fit on top of the cardboard but still allowed the lid to close. I use this as a tray for small items. 

The cardboard divider underneath keeps the tray on top where it belongs, keeps it level, and keeps the bottles below from being smashed. I couldn't have planned this any better.

Wondering what equipment you need to keep goats?
Here are my 10 must-have basic items for goats.

In the tray on top I keep a stethoscope for listening to rumen sounds, a digital thermometer, hand sanitizer, a measuring tape to estimate a goat's weight, an assortment of syringes and extra needles, and the little tube of antibiotic eye ointment that I sometimes need for kittens with eye infections.

I have a few sandwich-size bags on top that hold smaller items: a roll of gauze, bandage tape and scissors, needles. The drench syringe also goes on top of the tray, to use when administering liquids to goats, such as vitamins, Nutri-Drench, and medications.

Along the sides of the container, between the cardboard divider and the plastic side of the box, I store several printed pages of information. 

There's a goat weight chart to convert inches to pounds for an estimated weight, a diagram of where to give shots, vital statistics for goats and for horses, and dosage amounts for dewormers and medications. I've added links to this information in the list below so you can print them off too if you wish.

On the other side of the box, also between the cardboard and the plastic side, are some large 4x4" individually wrapped gauze pads.

Grab and go portability

This first aid kit is super portable and I can literally grab it and go to diagnosis and give immediate wound care. It has everything I need for assessment and first aid care for goats, horses, dogs and cats. And chickens too, I suppose.

I keep most bottles of medication on a shelf in the house, out of reach of our little people. Keeping them inside a cupboard keeps the liquids and gels away from light. 

Medications that must be kept cold are in the refrigerator in a plastic storage basket from the dollar store.

Of course, everyone will have different items in their first aid kits, but these are the basic items that I keep on hand all the time. Having a dedicated container keeps these items together so I always know where they are.

Items for your first-aid kit

These are the basics I keep in my kit:

Printable information for your first-aid kit

If you'd like to include the printable information in your first-aid kit too, you can follow these links to their authors' websites and print them.

Goat weight chart
Diagram of where to give shots

Dosage for many common medications
Vital statistics for goats and for horses

Want to print this post for your goat binder or homesteading notebook?

Readers have often asked me for an easy way to print some of my posts for their goat binder or homesteading notebook. You asked, I listened!

With fewer, smaller images and no ads, the printable is designed to be printer-friendly, to be kept in your goat binder or homesteading notebook. For even more economy, set your printer to “black and white” to save on color ink.

You'll find the 8-page printable in my Etsy shop.

What I love about this first-aid container

I love the portability of this kit. I like being able to divide things up inside with those cardboard dividers, so I know where everything is.

The size of the container is deep enough to hold the bottles and keep them upright, and just the right size to store the 8.5x11" papers along the side. And I like having the "tray" on top so that small items aren't lost inside the larger container.

The kit is light enough that our granddaughter was able to run in the house and carry it out to me when we had a dog emergency. The handle is invaluable for portability.

In other words, this works just right for us. Perhaps it will for you too.

Want more?

You'll find all of my goat articles here.

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The following images are affiliate links. You can read my disclosure here.


Related posts:
Supplies You Need for Your Goats
10 Must-Have Items for Goats

This post has been shared at some of my favorite blog hops.


My hope is to inspire you, and to encourage your homesteading plans and your dreams of a simple, self-reliant, God-dependent life. You can follow me at: 
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  1. Great idea! My son is an avid 4H guy, and he would love something like this!

  2. Good morning, Michele! This would be a practical and useful 4H project for sure. It never hurts to be prepared.

  3. This is a wonderful resource! I have things scattered around and stored up in the barn (which will need to come inside soon with the weather turning now). Definitely going to pin this.

  4. I know what you mean, Jamie. I still wish I could keep it ALL in one place but some meds need to be refrigerated while others need to be kept in a cool, dark place. I finally decided to at least have all the *equipment* and triage-type things in a portable container. I hope it's helpful to you. Thank you for sharing!

  5. Wonderful idea! I only have chickens right now but I think I have just as much items as you do, LOL. I will be putting this on my to do list it will be so much easier for my kids to bring out to me instead of the guessing game of which meds or item did mom want.

  6. Jeanette, that was my thinking too - the container is easy to spot right inside the door, contains all my emergency gear, and is easy for someone else to grab. I'm glad it could be helpful for you too.

  7. Anonymous11:04 AM

    I like this idea as well. I have used giant ziplock bags that are species specific and then just grabbed that bag and my EMS gear. This might be a really good refinement at our house.

    Kris Bell

    1. Kris, I really like the idea of keeping things sorted by species.

  8. Thanks for teaching the first aid box of live stock, and sharing with Hearth and soul blog hop,

  9. HI Kathi!
    This is a fantastic idea! I have them everywhere, for people - keeping one or two for the critters is a must, on the farm. (Getting closer to that - looking at types housing options, now)
    I don't know if you can tell where/when things get pinned - this one has just been pinned to my farm/homestead/prep board...

    I hope all is great, there!
    God bless!

    1. Carla, it's so good to see you. Looking at housing options sounds promising!

      Thank you for pinning the post. I'm glad it was helpful.

  10. Very neat and organized. My kit now consumes a tool bag and two boxes. LOL

    Stopping by from the Homestead Blog Hop.

  11. Bonnie, thank you for stopping by. It sounds like you have a LOT of first aid items!

  12. this is a wonderful reminder to recheck your supplies, or to start a portable kit if you don't have one! Great article! Thanks for posting over at Country Fair Blog Party! I love reading what you are up to and look forward to you linking up for our December Party!
    Jan @ Tipgarden

  13. Thank you, Jan. I'm glad it's helpful!

  14. This is a great list of necessary items to share with anyone starting out with livestock. It is surprising how much equipment it takes to care for them. Thanks for linking up to the Country Fair Blog Party this month.

    1. Animals are kind of like babies, who knew they'd need so much stuff!


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