Salmonella Safety Practices for Backyard Chicken Keepers

Fact: People can get sick with Salmonella infections from touching backyard poultry, their feed, and the places where they live and roam.

Here’s What You Need to Know

Keeping chickens can be a healthy & rewarding hobby, but what we need to talk about is the proper management that will keep your family safe from the dangers of salmonella.
This isn’t talked about near enough and I feel too many chicken keepers are dismissing the fact that salmonella is found in bird droppings. If eggs are not handled properly, salmonella can be passed along to people. That’s the basic truth. But the facts are much broader than just safe egg handling, every chicken keeper should be well educated on proper housekeeping and coop management to safeguard against Salmonella.
Simple Rules for Good Chicken Housekeeping
Backyard poultry can carry Salmonella germs even if they look clean and well-kept after. After handling baby chicks, (especially children and people with weakened immune systems) should immediately wash their hands thoroughly.
There should be a clean space between your home and where your chickens roam. That means they must have their own space where people won’t be constantly exposed to their droppings.
Wear special shoes or boots when tending to your birds, and store them away from the designated clean space.
Never eat or drink where your chickens live or roam.
Keep your coop and where the chickens roam clean. Regular coop cleaning and fresh bedding should be at the top of your chore list.
Collect eggs daily and keep the nest box clean. Eggs should never lay in droppings.
Refrigerate your eggs, this slows the growth of germs.
Coop equipment such as water or feed containers should be cleaned outdoors only.
Chickens are not indoor pets and shouldn’t under any circumstances be allowed in your home. They aren’t to be cuddled and certainly not kissed.

Outbreaks of Salmonella Infections Linked to Backyard Poultry in 2020…

As of December 17, 2020, a total of 1,722 people infected with one of the outbreak strains of Salmonella were reported from all 50 states.
333 people (33% of those with information available) were hospitalized.
One death in Oklahoma was reported.
24% of ill people were children younger than 5 years of age.
Epidemiologic and laboratory evidence showed that contact with backyard poultry was the likely source of these outbreaks.
576 (66%) of the 876 ill people interviewed reported contact with chicks and ducklings.
People reported obtaining chicks and ducklings from several sources, including agricultural stores, websites, and hatcheries. Testing of backyard poultry and their environments (such as backyard coops) in Kentucky and Oregon found three of the outbreak strains.

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    Show Prep

    Preparing to Show Your Poultry

    I’m always amazed at all that needs to be done the week before a poultry show. Every show we’ve attended we have learned more efficient ways to get the birds looking their best, sometimes it has been by learning the hard way. Hopefully, you can learn from our mistakes and our successes as we give you a glimpse at what the week before a show looks like on our little farm… Read Article

    by Poultry Show Central
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    Little Giant Poultry Drinker, Solving the Overflow Problem


    Many people are complaining this drinker overflows and leaves their birds without water, but there’s a simple fix to this problem. This drinker is a good product, but there’s a trick to keeping it from leaking everywhere. I sent my first one back, the second ended up in the shed on a shelf. But now I use it every day and love it.
    First of all, I’m sure you already know it’s important to place the drinker on level ground, and up on a cinder block is good practice too. But here’s the real trick to stop it from overflowing. After you fill the drinker full, loosely tighten the cover on top. Remove the black cap on the side allowing the fountain to fill. While it’s filling, loosen the black cover on top (kind of a lot) then tighten it again. This will create the vacuum needed to stop it from overflowing. That’s it!

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    How to Care for Baby Chicks | Articles from the Experts Across the Web

    Although the rules remain unchanged, it’s important to note that there isn’t just one method to raise chicks. If you’re seeking innovative ideas, solutions, or if you’re dealing with a specific and unique circumstance, there are numerous approaches that experts suggest. By exploring different viewpoints, you’ll discover a range of strategies that adhere to the fundamental principles.

    Raising Baby Chicks | TBN Ranch

    Everything you need to know, step by step, to prepare for, and manage baby chicks.
    Research, have a plan, be prepared, and know what to expect; these four things will help ease your commitment, so there’s more time to enjoy your birds. Read Article

    Murray McMurray
    Murray McMurray | Chick Care Tips
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    Brooder Set-up Ideas to Simplify Raising Chicks

    Raising chicks in a box somewhere in the house is not a very pleasant experience, at least after the first two weeks. Chicks are messy, and smelly if not constantly cleaned up after. This is difficult without a proper setup. Without the right tools for any job means working twice as hard, and raising chicks is no exception.
    Caring for and housing chicks shouldn’t feel like a chore. The planning, building, and improving your set-up is half the fun. Just like anything else, once a hobby becomes a job it’s just not fun anymore.
    After years of looking for an easier way to raise chicks on a budget, this is what I came up with.
    I had an 8×10 bare bones shed built with one window, two airflow vents, and a double door. Then the finishing was up to me, it took probably close to two years to afford everything.
    Today it has painted walls, a tile floor, electricity, and a custom-made brooder to accommodate 50 chicks comfortably. All my supplies are handy, and any mess sweeps right out the door. I enjoy spending time in my brooder shed. My cute chicks, a window fan, soft music, and a cup of coffee. That my friends is how to enjoy your birds!

    Brooder Shed
    Brooder and Chicks
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    Do Chickens Smell?

    The answer is quite simple, the real question here is are you going to enjoy spending time with your chickens? If the answer is yes, then the time you spend will mostly be fussing over your birds. In other words, fussing over your chickens means you’ll not only be cleaning up after them, but find enjoyment in creating attractive and functional housing.

    All animals require effort to keep clean, and if you neglect to do so, it’s a sure bet they’re going to smell. If you look at keeping chickens realistically, what else are you going to do with them besides pick eggs and care for their living environment? We don’t sit and pet them as a rule, and training them to do tricks is certainly not going to be a success story… instead, we fuss over their coops.
    The bottom line, is if you spend time with your birds, then no, chickens don’t smell. Fussing over your birds makes for a happy flock, and a happy flock is what fills the egg basket!
    Here are a few pics of my chicken set-ups… lots of fussing over chickens at TBN Ranch…

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    Adirondack Chicken Coops and More!

    Dream big… and turn it into a reality. Anybody who keeps chickens knows the better set-up you have the easier it is to care for them. Check out these beautiful coops, they’ll sure get your wheels spinning! No surprises either, this company lists all their prices.

    Visit Website

    More Ideas

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