If your a poultry keeper and not concerned with salmonella, you should be. Here’s the facts and how to protect yourself and your family.
Salmonella is a type of bacteria that is carried in the intestines of animals and
can be shed into the environment. People typically become infected after eating contaminated foods or from contact with animals or their environments.
Fact: Chicks, ducklings, and other poultry are a recognized source of Salmonella
Exposure to Salmonella
People get sick from Salmonella by hand to mouth contact. Usually this
happens when people handle birds or their droppings and then accidentally
touch their mouths or forget to wash their hands before eating or drinking.
Even birds that do not look sick may be shedding Salmonella. And even though
a bird looks clean, it may still have germs like Salmonella on its feathers or feet.
Salmonella can cause diarrhea, vomiting, and fever. Occasionally people
become sick enough to need to see a doctor or be hospitalized. Most people
develop symptoms 1 to 3 days after being exposed to Salmonella, and recover
in about a week. Some people are more susceptible to infection and will have
more severe disease. These people include young children, pregnant women,
the elderly, people on chemotherapy, diabetics, and others with weakened
Whether you raise chicks or ducklings as a source of food or keep them as pets,
follow these steps to protect yourself and your family from illness:
- Do not let children less than five years of age or others at high risk handle poultry or items contaminated by poultry.
- Wash your hands thoroughly after handling poultry or their droppings.
- Do not eat or drink around poultry or their living areas.
- Do not let poultry live inside your home.
- Do not wash the birds’ food and water dishes in the kitchen sink.
Disinfectants for Good Poultry Housekeeping
- Roccal®: Mix 1/2 fluid oz of Roccal per gallon of water.
- Nolvasan® (chlorhexidine diacetate 2 percent): Mix
- 3 fluid oz of Nolvasan per gallon of water.
- Household bleach (sodium hypochlorite 6 percent):
- Mix 3/4 cup of household bleach per gallon of water.
- Lysol® spray for footwear
- Purell® hand pump for hand disinfection
Source: United States Department of Agriculture, USDA
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