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Chenoa Pinion-Aid

A very good blood stop can be prepared to prevent bleeding when toe clipping and pinioning. Start with a quart size glass mayonnaise jar with a plastic top. Add 150 ml (5 fluid ounces or 10 tablespoons) of the green rubbing alcohol that has wintergreen in it plus 30 ml (1 fluid ounce or 2 tablespoons) of water to the jar. Stir gently to mix the alcohol and water. Begin adding a small amount (teaspoon) of aluminum chloride and stir well. Only small amounts should be added at a time as large amounts can produce a great deal of heat. After each addition of aluminum chloride, let the mixture sit for 15 minutes or so. If all of the aluminum chloride dissolves repeat the aluminum chloride addition process. Keep adding aluminum chloride until no more will dissolve. This point is reached when crystals start to appear on the bottom of the liquid. If you overdo the aluminum chloride by a large amount just add some more water (1 part) and alcohol (5 parts) and stir.

Ingredients and Equipment
Chenoa Pinion-Aid

In pinioning or toe clipping apply pressure with the forefinger and thumb to the joint where the cut will be made. After making the cut apply a drop or two of the Chenoa Pinion-Aid you have constructed on the cut and hold for ten seconds then release pressure. Hold a little longer than ten seconds if the bird is older than "just coming out of the incubator." Use of an eye dropper or a dropper bottle to make the application of Chenoa Pinion-Aid will help in conserving your creation, make the application more accurate, and minimize the mess. Recheck each bird before calling the operation over to be sure there is no bleeding.

Be careful to not get the liquid in your eyes, the bird's eyes, or on good furniture. Be very careful to keep it away from small children. Although used with caution, Chenoa Pinion-Aid has been used to pinion geese that were two weeks old. The secret to the use of Chenoa Pinion-Aid is to apply good pressure and to retain the hold for several seconds. Older birds require longer pressure application. The idea is to not let bleeding start before getting the Chenoa Pinion-Aid on the cut. If bleeding does start, dry the area with paper towel, apply pressure again, make a new cut even if a very small one, apply more Chenoa Pinion-Aid, and hold a little longer than the original attempt.

When I started raising birds I was primarily involved with raising geese. With my open water setting they all had to be pinioned. I tried all kinds of things to stop bleeding such as powder, dehorning blood stop, styptic sticks, styptic powder, etc. Invariably just when I thought I was through pinioning about half of those pinioned would be bleeding out from under the patch of blood stop. Having taught chemistry at White Station High School in Memphis during the 60s, I sat down with some of my chemistry books. After a good bit of review and a few tries back in the late 80s Chenoa Pinion-Aid emerged. Karl Zimmerman and I have been using it ever since. With a little practice using Chenoa Pinion-Aid you can pinion and toe clip waterfowl in a white suit. Just be sure to wash your hands after using Chenoa Pinion-Aid.

Sources of ingredients and equipment:

    Aluminum Chloride (Reagent Grade; Crystal; 500g)
      $18.50 plus shipping, minimum charge and caustic materials fees 02/05/2008 from a scientific supply company. The added fees make it expensive, but it sure is nice.

      This will make a lot of Chenoa Pinion-Aid. A 100g bottle might be a possibility.

      This grade is relatively cheap and is used in science education (school science laboratories).
      White Storage Code (These chemicals may harm skin, eyes, mucous membranes.)

      Obtain from scientific/school science laboratory supply companies or possibly your local drug store can obtain it for you.

    Alcohol Wintergreen (70% Isopropyl Alcohol - $1.40 for 16 fluid ounces)
    Wal-Mart, local grocery or drugstore

    Eye dropper (salvaged medical dropper)
    Dropper bottle (Eye drops or Ear Drops, etc.)

    Midget Diagonal-Cutting Pliers (nothing fancy - about 5 inches tip to tip)
    ACE or other hardware brand


    Cuticle cutter, Toenail cutter (not clipper)
    Various Stores and Drug Stores

Other "Reaching For Your Head, Rather Than Your Pocketbook" Ideas

Can Be Found At: Fowl Ideas For The Aviculturist

For more information please contact:

Maurice Houston Field
Waterfowl of Chenoa, Curator

Since 02/02/08

Last Updated
Saturday, 08-Mar-2008 18:15:27 CST