Sick Chicks

As Easter approaches, many parents are excited to dress their kids up and take cute pictures of the family. Some parents even go the extra mile and include some baby chicks in their pictures. If you’re one of those extra-excited parents, here’s a word of advice: watch out for Salmonella. That’s right, those cute little fluffy chicks could be harboring some dangerous bacteria.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), live poultry such as chickens, ducks, geese, and turkeys can carry dangerous germs, including Salmonella. These germs can be found in the animals’ droppings or on their bodies. Because these germs can be almost anywhere on the animals, it’s extremely easy for people to come in contact with Salmonella and develop some nasty symptoms as a result.

Symptoms of Salmonella infection include: diarrhea, vomiting, fever, and abdominal cramps. In cases of severe Salmonella infection, the bacteria can travel from the intestines to the blood stream, proving fatal unless treated immediately. Pretty gross, huh?

Luckily, the CDC has three easy tips for avoiding Salmonella infection:

  1. Always wash your hands THOROUGHLY after touching live poultry or anything they may have come in contact with.

  2. Don’t bring live poultry inside your home. All coops should be OUTSIDE the home.

  3. Don’t let children (5 years old or younger), elderly individuals, or people with weakened immune systems handle or touch live poultry.

Salmonella can also be transferred to egg shells. Because of this, you should always practice safe handling when collecting and eating eggs from backyard poultry. Always wash your hands after touching eggs and keep a clean coop! If you follow these tips, you can enjoy your cute feathered friends without risking your family’s health. If you’d like more tips, please call 304-265-1288, stop by our office – Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m. – 4 p.m., or visit our new website at

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