can i get a disease from chickens?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by derrik38, May 12, 2007.

  1. derrik38

    derrik38 In the Brooder

    Apr 30, 2007
    anyone watch the show house last night? they had a kid that was playing in his yard that use to be a chicken farm and got really sick almost dying.its not a real... show. but i was thinking.i have chickens.3 of them right next to my back door.and when i clen out the coop dust flyes everwere.what our the chanses of me getting sick from this? do yopu know of anyone ever getting sick?[​IMG]
  2. Rosalind

    Rosalind Songster

    Mar 25, 2007
    There are lots of zoonoses (diseases transmissible from animals to humans), but most people don't get ill unless they are immunologically impaired. The most common chicken-transmitted disease per the CDC is Salmonella, usually when people handle chickens and then don't wash their hands properly afterwards--but even that doesn't happen too often. So, unless you're immunologically impaired (cancer patient, HIV+, very elderly, child under 2 years old, organ transplant recipient, already battling a serious infection, etc. ) then you will probably be just fine.

    There are also warnings from CDC that chickens can be reservoirs for West Nile Virus, but quite frankly even if you personally didn't keep animal carriers for West Nile, any critter within a mile or so of you could carry it anyway--any songbird, any horse, there are lots of carriers for West Nile. So, the best prevention for mosquito-borne diseases is really making sure there's no standing water around your neighborhood for mosquitos to breed. If you have a decorative pond, add goldfish to eat mosquito larvae.

    Me personally, I do wear a dust mask or put on my respirator for cleaning the chicken pen, just because getting particles of anything in your lungs--even non-infectious particles like bits of hay chaff or pine bedding--is not good for you either. And the thought of inhaling powdered chicken poo is just, well, icky to me. But, in the interests of full disclosure, I don't always wash my hands after petting the chickens.

    Historically, people get more diseases from cattle than from chickens.
    1 person likes this.
  3. PurpleChicken

    PurpleChicken Tolerated.....Mostly

    Apr 6, 2007
    This is a subject I have studied recently since I thought it may have affected my family.

    Before I mention any data I must say that I find House to be one of the worst medical shows ever. It's pure crap in every way. It'd addictive brand of drama is kin to watching a car accident as the victims are pulled out.

    The disease Histoplamosis is common and can be caught from many places. A healthy immune system and a clean coop is your best defense.
    See for further details.
    The show house is doing chicken owners the same diservice that the media did on Avian Flu. "Watch out for those chickens, they'll get you".

    Salmonella and Camplybactor(of which my wife was recently infected with) are the two biggies. Best defense there is wash your hands, properly cook your meat, and don't lick your chickens. (I'm sure a little kiss is OK).
    Check out for info on those.

    Your question is valid but with all things being relative, your chickens are much safer than your cats or dogs.

    Oh Ya, Rosalind is absolutely correct about dust. If it's not air, don't breathe it.
    2 people like this.
  4. MTchick

    MTchick Songster

    Feb 2, 2007
    Western Montana
    I bet those stinking TV shows never show the tragedy of a woman having a miscarriage from seriously contagious germs that live in cat poo. How many times have I dug into a fresh pile of cat waste in my gardens.... oooooo.... so annoying and gross!

    Yes, small flocks of chickens can carry diseases that we, as human, can get. But it really isn't a serious risk- you are at far, far greater risk from being attacked by your neighbor's dog or getting hurt on the drive to the grocery store. I'm not trying to make fun of your for being worried- it is a good thing to consider- but it really isn't that big of a risk. Just wash your hands.

  5. derrik38

    derrik38 In the Brooder

    Apr 30, 2007
    thank you.i'll wash my hands but im glad its not bad like the news wonts to make it out to be.i thought this was true but was just checking. im not going to even be consered about it.ill wash my hands but im not changing shoes when i go in the back yard.our spray the floor ext... i havent been wearing a mask when cleaning the coop but ill start.i but straw in there coop.what do u guys do with it once you clean out the coop??? sorry about my spelling.i just take the old straw and use it on the ground around the coop once i clean it out of there coop.[​IMG]
  6. cookinmom

    cookinmom Songster

    Mar 14, 2007
    Saint George GA
    don't lick your chickens. (I'm sure a little kiss is OK).

    Darn! I just wanted to go out there and lick Pearl and Cleo all over there little faces!

    JK (as my daughter would say) !!!!!


    While I do enjoy watching House sometimes (I think I like it because House is such an imperfect doctor, for a change, instead of Superman in a lab coat) (No offense to any docs out there [​IMG] ), I'm sure nobody will be doing a show on all the crap that is spread around by people coming out of restrooms without washing their hands. They should do a show on all the protozoa that live in fecal matter and reside in the human body! My chickies are much cleaner than that, and as long as I clean up after them, I think we'll be fine.​
    Last edited: May 12, 2007
  7. hencackle

    hencackle Songster

    Mar 25, 2007
    Telford, TN
    Those show just have to over-exaggerate the disease of the week and it makes so many people paranoid. My MIL was almost a basket case during the West Nile Virus scare. She wouldn't venture outside unless she sprayed herself liberally with insect repellent. She would pass the can along and I refused...I thought she would croak!
    Too many people get so caught up in the dramatics that they forget it is just entertainment, not a documentary. I don't bother watching stuff like that.
  8. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD

    I work in a lab, and you gotta love it when they say things like "add two microliters" when they are seriously pipetting a few hundred microliters... I guess it would be no fun to watch if you couldn't see it on camrea!
  9. SpottedCrow

    SpottedCrow Flock Goddess

    I wanna rent a plane and shout this from a loud speaker.."Bird Flu will not kill a healthy person! You cannot get it from your pets!"
    I'm asthmatic and I've had a grand total of 1 asthma attack caused by my birds.
    I used to get pneumonia every year. Since I've had my birds, almost 4 years now, I've had pneumonia ONCE and that was because everyone in the store had it too.
    As much as I love watching these shows, they take it too far and some folks freak out and call the Chicken Nazis on you cuz they think they're gonna catch something from a spoiled little birdie.
  10. raisingirl78

    raisingirl78 In the Brooder

    Oct 11, 2011
    The dust from the coops can get into your lungs and because there are also feces in the dust, this could lead to problems for people with asthma or allergies or those whose immune systems are compromised. There is also the concern of E-Coli/Salmonella, etc. that can be transmitted by handling the chickens or their eggs, again due to the feces. Best bet with anything is to ALWAYS wash your hands well after handling the chickens, their eggs, or changing their bedding/cleaning the coop. You can also wear a mask when cleaning out the coop to keep particles from entering your lungs. I am not a chicken expert, but I am a nurse. Hand-washing is the number one way to prevent the spread of infection, regardless of the source! Remember proper hand-washing is by using warm water and soap and rubbing your hands (friction) for at a minimum of 15 seconds. Rinse your hands well and dry them with papertowels. Cloth towels harbor bacteria. Alcohol based cleansers work, but not if your hands are soiled. Hope this helps.
    2 people like this.

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