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Can chicks make us sick - can we make them sick?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by LittleMoss, Feb 1, 2017.

  1. LittleMoss

    LittleMoss In the Brooder

    Jan 27, 2017
    We are hand rearing a 6 day old chick, who needs help eating and drinking. Now some of our family are sick (stomach upset). Could it be to do with the chick? Or could we make her poorly?

  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Free Ranging

    Feb 2, 2009
    Southeast Louisiana
    Baby chicks, grown chickens, dogs, cats, practically any animal can possibly cause medical problems to humans. It doesn’t happen very often but it can happen. The general recommendation is to wash your hands thoroughly after handling animals, especially if they are sometimes outdoors.

    How many of us actually do that, wash hands after petting a dog or cat? I don’t, even if the dog was just outside rolling in who knows what. Let’s stay real.

    One of the risks from handling baby chicks is Salmonella, which can be transmitted through feces. Baby chicks poop a lot and no matter how clean you keep the brooder they will be exposed to feces. There are different strengths of salmonella. People with strong immune systems handle it better than people with weak immune systems. Plenty of people handle chicks and immediately put their fingers in their mouth or lick their fingers. Some people kiss baby chicks. Very few people get sick from this, but some do. That salmonella bacteria is not everywhere, but if it is present you and yours can be affected.

    I’m not saying it was caused by salmonella bacteria. I’m saying it might be salmonella, it might be something else entirely, there are a lot of bacteria and viruses out there. I’m not saying it was caused by the chick, there are stomach viruses going around right now. You asked if it were possible, so yes it is possible. And a good way to reduce the chance of infection is to wash your hands with soap and water after handling chicks. Don’t count on sanitizer, use soap and water.

    Most chicken diseases caused by bacteria or viruses do not affect humans. Most diseases that affect humans do not affect chickens. Most diseases are pretty species specific. But like the salmonella, it’s possible if you come into contact with a chicken disease somewhere else you can bring it back to your flock. That’s why it’s generally recommended to wear specific shoes especially when taking care of your chickens, don’t wear the same shoes or even clothing you wear to a feed store or to look at someone else’s chickens to avoid bringing diseases back.
  3. LittleMoss

    LittleMoss In the Brooder

    Jan 27, 2017
    Thanks, that's really helpful. We'll be careful.
  4. yyz0yyz0

    yyz0yyz0 Songster

    May 2, 2012
    I've been shocked at how many times I have to wash my hands after I get home from work and deal with the chickens.

    get home
    collect eggs - wash hands
    bring in breakfast feed bowl, clean it - wash hands.
    Clean poop board - wash hands
    give scratch - wash hands
    check feeder and waterer - wash hands.

    after 4 years of chicken keeping I"m still shocked at how quickly I can soak a bath size towel where I dry my hands after washing from chicken exposure.
  5. Folly's place

    Folly's place Free Ranging

    Sep 13, 2011
    southern Michigan
    If a family member is really ill and needs to go to the doctor, mention the chicks and have testing run for Salmonella. Mary
  6. LittleMoss

    LittleMoss In the Brooder

    Jan 27, 2017
    Thanks for everybody's help. The children are better, sadly our poorly chick died :(

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