Skip to comments.It's time to stop hugging your chickens
Posted on 09/10/2016 9:26:15 AM PDT by Diana in Wisconsin
If youre an urban or suburban chicken farmer, there's a chance you may consider your egg-producing, feathered friends family. You may have even given your chickens names, and you certainly care about them deeply. But do you cuddle and kiss them?
As of July 2016, there are 611 people in 45 states with salmonella poisoning from contact with backyard chickens, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). At least 138 people were hospitalized. These outbreaks are expected to continue for the next several months since flock owners might be unaware of the risk of salmonella infection from live poultry or participate in risky behaviors that can result in infection, according to the CDC.
The outbreak of salmonella can be traced back to chicks, ducklings and other poultry from multiple hatcheries in several states. People who have gotten birds that began life in these hatcheries are getting sick after close contact with the birds. However, the CDC notes, all live poultry can carry salmonella bacteria, regardless of where they were purchased and even if they look healthy and clean.
Of course, not all of those who have gotten ill have kissed their chickens. Any human contact with an infected bird can lead to illness. The CDC explains how:
People become infected with Salmonella when they put their hands or other things that have been in contact with feces in or around their mouth. Young children are especially at risk for illness because their immune systems are still developing and because they are more likely than others to put their fingers or other items into their mouths. It is important to wash hands immediately after touching poultry or anything in the area where they live and roam, because the germs on your hands can easily spread to other people or things.
To minimize the risk of salmonella poisoning from live poultry, the CDC recommends always assuming that contamination can happen and recommends the following.
After touching live poultry or an area where they've been, wash your hands with soap and water. If none is available, use hand sanitizer. Don't let children under age 5 handle or touch live poultry without adult supervision. If you have clothes and shoes soiled from being around poultry, wash your hands after removing them. Cook eggs that youve collected from backyard hens thoroughly since salmonella can pass to the interior eggs. Clean equipment and materials associated with the birds. Dont bring live poultry inside your house.
And, while the CDC page doesnt mention it specifically, I think its safe to say the agency would recommend NOT kissing or cuddling your backyard chickens.
I’m tired of politics; I’m going to throw caution to the wind and go find a chicken to hug! :)
You’re a real softie, chickens need love too. ;-)
lol... try a turtle instead!
That's the best advice I've received all year..........
WHAT? I just bought a dozen baby chicks two days ago! They are doing fine.
What? No choke your chicken jokes?
There is another disease-histoplasmosis. You get it from chickens and it can screw up your lungs royally. Mine look like I was shot with a shotgun from it
I remember fifty years ago when everyone was buying baby turtles with painted shells. Then came the Salmonella scare and the warnings that the paint could deform the shells.
Now you never see them anymore.
Guess I will have to hatch some “Sea Monkeys!” if it is not “reisist”.
Something is different. I don’t recall these problems with the chickens running around my grandfathers barnyard long long ago.
I like to name my chickens before I eat them.
Something hugged mine last night and then some. Had 15 in an old shed. Coop latch broken, door busted open.
We think it was a bear.
Now the calves and piglets, it takes an effort not to get attached to them.
Exactly. I’ve raised chickens for over 20 years. Never ONE problem in all that time - and we’ve eaten them, eaten their eggs, my kids were always playing with them, no one in my household has EVER gotten sick from chickens.
I’m not saying you can’t get sick; it’s just never happened to us, and we were not 100% scrupulous or hygienic about it, either. Of course, no chickens in the house...we had three dogs and two cats at any given time, LOL!
Maybe people’s immune systems are weak these days, due to a lack of fresh air and sunshine? ;)
Oh, no! I’ve had that problem in the past with raccoons. My last two laying hens, ‘Cagney & Lacey’ were the last two to go. *SNIF*
I don’t have hens right now - waiting for Beau to build the new pole barn as I’m taking over a corner of it for laying and roasting hen production.
I think this article says that if you eat chicken _hit that you’ll get sick.
We always seemed to know that was a bad idea.
Without the government telling us.
I have one chicken that lays eggs in my bathtub. Many times I think a chicken is missing, only to find her in the attic. My chickens are TOO domesticated. Maybe if I lined their coop with satin sheets, they'd stay out of my house.
I don't see why anyone would kiss a chicken. Those beaks can poke an eye out.
Hugging a chicken? Nothing soft and cuddly about feathers.
I’ve raised chickens (and quai, and pheasants) for over 60 years. Never have had an urge to hug, stroke, or kiss them. They are mean, stupid creatures that convert feed to noise and eggs.
Chickens are the first pets some children have as their very own pet. They learn how to feed and not fear the birds. Stay away from the Rooster, when he gets mad. They have those sharp spurs.
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