Chickens in the House is Nothing to Brag About

Chickens in the house? Really? This is not a practice I would boast about to the world, but yet I see pictures every single day online. Chickens wandering around kitchens, sitting on the back of couches, and looking in the back doors and windows of homes. The list goes on and on.

Chickens are not house pets, and though SO MANY people allow their mature chickens in the house, I consider this practice a potential health risk, and irresponsible to say the least.

The rule of thumb is to keep a clean area between chickens and your living space.  That means chickens don’t belong in the yard, on the patio, where children play, or anywhere that family traffic is common. Chickens should have their own area outside. They are NOT companion animals like dogs and cats, and shouldn’t be allowed the same indoor perks.

Why is This so Important?

It’s common for chickens to carry Salmonella, which is a type of germ that naturally lives in the intestines and is shed in their feces. Live poultry may have Salmonella germs on their bodies (including feathers, feet, and beaks) even when they appear healthy and clean. The germs can also get on coops, hay, plants, and soil in the area where the birds live and roam. Additionally, the germs can be found on the hands, shoes, and clothing of those who handle the birds or work or play where they live and roam.

Each spring, children become infected with Salmonella, but it’s important to remember that illness can occur from chicks or adult birds at any time of the year. Children are exposed to Salmonella by holding, cuddling, or kissing the birds and by touching things where the bird lives, such as cages or feed and water bowls. 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.

How Common is Salmonella?

CDC estimates that approximately 1.2 million illnesses and approximately 450 deaths occur from Salmonella annually in the United States alone.

And Furthermore…  Shame on Manufacturers

It doesn’t help that chicken diapers and clothes are being marketed. These items are made simply because people will buy them. Nothing of the sort makes it safe to allow chickens indoors… nothing.

 

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Chickens are NOT House Pets

Chickens live in coops and barns, people live in houses. A rule that should be followed for good reason… but isn’t always.

Keeping a chicken in the house is absolutely definitely not okay! Nevertheless, people do it all the time. While you enjoy the benefits of backyard chickens and other poultry, it is important to consider the risk of illness, especially for children, which can result from handling live poultry or anything in the area where they live and roam.

I’ve seen chick brooders in kitchens, family rooms, even in bedrooms where a children sleep. Worse yet, there are pics of mature chickens all over the internet roaming free in family households. Even a short visit from a curious chicken that wanders through an open back door tells me there are serious flaws in a chicken keeper’s set-up.

There should always be what I call a clean area between the coop and a family home. There shouldn’t be a trace of chicken poop in the clean area, not even from your footwear. It’s a good practice to leave your boots outside the clean area, this will help keep contaminants at bay. Poultry droppings should never be present where they can be tracked into the house or where children play.

As far as baby chicks go, they don’t need to be inside your home. Radiant heat or a heat lamp in a garage or barn that protects them from drafts is perfectly suitable.  If it isn’t, then chicks are being purchased at the wrong time of the year. Buy in the spring when it’s easier to manage temperatures.

You can never be sure chicks shipped from hatcheries are healthy. In a recent outbreak, more than 350 people were infected with the outbreak strains of Salmonella Infantis, Salmonella Newport, or Salmonella Hadar across 43 states, 33% were hospitalized. The majority of these cases were from mail-order chicks shipped to backyard chicken keepers.

Whether chicks from a hatchery, the neighbors pampered flock, or your very own birds, be safe, responsible, keep them in their own area, and out of the family home.

Fact…

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.

Safety Tips for Poultry Keepers

Don’t let children younger than 5 years of age, older adults, or people with weak immune systems handle or touch chicks, ducklings, or other live poultry.

Don’t eat or drink in the area where the birds live or roam.

Don’t let live poultry inside the house, in bathrooms, or especially in areas where food or drink is prepared, served, or stored, such as kitchens or outdoor patios.

In recent outbreaks of Salmonella infections linked to contact with live poultry, ill people reported bringing live poultry into their homes.

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:

Stay Healthy, Practice Good Chicken Keeping

We all know the risks of salmonella and how important it is to keep chickens and chicken items in their own area. Seriously, do we really practice it?  There should be a designated clean area around our house where chickens, our boots, rakes, etc never end up. We shouldn’t drink our morning coffee when tending to the chickens. Okay, I’m guilty, and I’ll bet I’m not alone.  So lets take another look at how to be responsible chicken keepers, got a couple minutes to keep your family safe? 🙂

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An increasing number of people around the country are choosing to keep live poultry, such as chickens or ducks, as part of a greener, healthier lifestyle. While you enjoy the benefits of backyard chickens and other poultry, it is important to consider the risk of illness, especially for children, which can result from handling live poultry or anything in the area where they live and roam.
Learn More

Keeping baby chicks in the house?

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Salmonella and Poultry

Home Grown

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
immune systems.

Prevention

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

For more information go HERE

Source: United States Department of Agriculture, USDA