Salmonella Outbreaks Linked to Backyard Poultry | CDC

In This Article:

  • What you Need to Know if you’re Consuming Fresh Farm Eggs.
  • Salmonella Illness Fast Facts, August 2022
  • What You Need to Know as a Backyard Chicken Keeper

Whether you are raising backyard chickens or consuming fresh eggs from a local chicken keeper, there are a few precautions to be aware of. Salmonella is real, and a serious health threat that exists everywhere… even from local backyard chicken keepers.

Salmonella Illness Facts, August 2022

  • Illnesses: 884
  • Hospitalizations: 158
  • Deaths: 2
  • States: 48 and the District of Columbia
  • Investigation status: Active

What You Need to Know as a Consumer of Backyard Farm Fresh Eggs

  • Backyard poultry, such as chickens and ducks, can carry Salmonella germs even if they look healthy and clean. These germs can easily spread to anything in the areas where the poultry live and roam.
  • You can get sick from touching backyard poultry or anything in their environment, including eggs.
  • Your eggs should never be in a used egg carton. If you’re unsure if your supplier uses new cartons, transfer the eggs into a clean wire basket. It’s a good practice to transfer eggs to your own basket before they reach your kitchen.
  • Discard dirty or irregular eggs. Dirty eggs mean the nest box is dirty, and the eggs may have been exposed to bacteria.
  • Don’t wash eggs; eggs have what is called the *bloom that protects the egg from bacteria. Washing removes the bloom, allowing bacteria to easily enter the egg.
  • Ask to see the area where the hens that supply your eggs are kept. It should be dry and not foul-smelling. The hens should look happy and healthy.
  • Never crack open the egg on the same pan you’re cooking in.
  • Wash your hands anytime you handle eggs, especially when cooking.

Those at Highest Risk of Severe Illness from Salmonella

  • Young children, especially under 5 years old.
  • Adults 65 and over, or someone with a compromised or weakened immune system.
Fancy Egg Baskets are available on Amazon, but the one shown above is from the Dollar Store!

What You Need to Know as a Backyard Chicken Keeper

  • Eggs from a backyard chicken keeper should be collected daily. Cracked, dirty, or eggs that aren’t in the nest box should be discarded. Fresh eggs are better left unwashed as not to disturb the bloom, which protects the eggs from bacteria.
  • It is good practice to clean nest boxes weekly and have at least one nest box for every three hens.
  • Don’t re-use egg cartons; or sell eggs in used cartons. Use a wire basket when collecting eggs. Ask your customers to bring their own basket or container.
  • Transfer eggs to a clean wire basket or new carton before storing them in your refrigerator.
  • Wash hands immediately after handling eggs.
  • There should be a clean space between your living quarters and the coop. Shoes, gloves, or anything you wear to work in the coop should be left in a designated area away from your living quarters. Rakes, shovels, and all cleaning supplies that are used in the coop should STAY IN THE COOP or a designated area nearby.
  • If your birds are free-roaming, they should have an area completely separate from the family home. This includes a no chicken zone where children or pets are likely to play.
  • Don’t let children younger than 5 years touch chicks, or other backyard poultry. Young children are more likely to get sick from Salmonella.

More information | CDC | Salmonella and Backyard Poultry
Centers of Disease Control & Prevention

* What is the Bloom? The “bloom” of an egg in an invisible coating that the hen’s body will “lay” on top of the shell of the egg. The bloom is also known as the cuticle of the eggs. It protects the egg from bacteria entering the egg.

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Banty Eggs

With the soaring price of eggs, I’ve never been so grateful for my little banty hens. Just look what they brought to the table this week!
Considering the rising cost of chicken feed, I’ve been supplementing their diet with healthy table scraps to stretch that bagged feed a bit longer.

Happy hens fill the egg basket
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When is it Safe to Open the Incubator?

Opening the incubator will let out all of the warm moist air that is contained inside the machine and doing it at the wrong time will cause hatching problems. Read Article

By Neil Armitage | Cluckin
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Backyard Chickens, Yes or No?

Is Having a Few Hens for You?

Maybe you didn’t think about being self sufficient before 2020, but what about now? Did you see shortages, empty shelves at the grocery store? In spite of the grocery store shortcomings, at least I knew there were always gonna be fresh eggs right in my back yard. It was a nice feeling, real nice, but is keeping chickens for you? Let’s take a closer look…

Having backyard chickens is going to add to your chore list, and yes, they’re kinda messy, and yes, you’re gonna spend a little extra money just to have those “free eggs.” But, putting all that negative stuff aside, the question of whether or not it’s worth it is a simple one. Yes, and here’s why.

The flavor of a fresh egg is rich, the color is vibrant, and the texture is amazingly firm in comparison to grocery store shelf eggs. But here’s the best part, farm fresh eggs taste better, and hold more nutritional value than store bought. Studies have found that fresh farm eggs have less cholesterol, contain the right kind of fat and have more vitamins than conventional eggs.

Fact: By law, an egg can be sold for up to 30 days after the date it was put in the carton. And farmers have up to 30 days to go from when the egg is laid to the carton. That means those supermarket eggs can be two months old by the time you buy them. It only makes sense to assume after two months some nutritional value has been lost.

Upkeep and What to Expect

Every morning I spend about 10-15 minutes tending to my birds. I use a pooper scooper, pick up the droppings from the nest box and coop, fluff up the pine shavings, fill the drinker, collect eggs, and…. that’s it. Once a week the coop gets fresh pine shavings and the feeder is refilled. My birds free roam during the day on our property, however, if they were confined to a coop, a more rigorous cleaning regiment would be inevitable.

Probably the biggest mistake I made when getting my first backyard flock was how many birds to get. Lesson learned, I bought way to many, and ended up with more eggs than my family could possibly eat. Keep it simple, if you want to feed a small family of four, five to six hens is just about right.

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