Can Keeping Backyard Chickens Kill you??

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Kuntry Klucker, Jan 10, 2014.

  1. Kuntry Klucker

    Kuntry Klucker Premium Member

    Jun 9, 2010
    Tennesee Smoky Mts.
    Hi All,


    I have 17 BO's that are about 3 years old.
    They get fresh water and food daily, plus treats.
    They free range in my backyard eating fresh goodies
    I use deep litter method in a coop with a wooden floor, I do a complete cleaning once a year.
    I worm them yearly and dust them.
    All in all I say I take very good care of my girls to the point of spoiling them.

    I post this thread because I came in contact with someone who said that owning chickens
    can make you sick if not kill you. He sited all the diseases that they can carry and
    the chores of cleaning the coop and pen can be hazardous to you health.
    He does have a condition that he said his dr calls chicken coop disease which
    results in a bad cough and lung problems. He did at one point work at a chicken
    farm which he says the illness came from.

    Now I am concerned and a bit confused on what position I should take in dealing with my girls.
    In a nut shell, I am a little bit scared.

    Those who have kept chicness for a long time or been around them for most of their lives,
    is this something that I should worry about. Should I fear for my health because I own
    backyard chickens.


    Here is a pic of my set up, if it is helpful.



  2. Davey G

    Davey G Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 10, 2014
    My dad has owned chickens for all his life and he still has the strongest lungs I know of. Me, I have had asthma but that happens only when I am to active in cold weather, nothing to do with chickens. We own a big chicken place with layers and bantams and we have yet to become sick. I hope that helps you a little bit at least.[​IMG]
  3. crazyfeathers

    crazyfeathers Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 24, 2013
    Auburndale, Wi
    I would love to hear the answer too
  4. victorb17

    victorb17 Out Of The Brooder

    Feb 15, 2013
    If this was the case me and my grandparents and most of our neighbors would have been gone long ago. I'm sure you get the freak happening of a hen catching a disease, but mice are known to carry hanta virus and I bet you have more of those around than you think. [​IMG]
  5. cstronks

    cstronks Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 12, 2013
    New Jersey
    Maybe he should have used a respirator, because chickens can produce a lot of dust. Also, chickens can only be carriers for diseases which most other common birds that fly around and crap on our cars the answer is a resounding NO. It is smart to use precautions when in an environment that houses chickens, but they are not lethal.
  6. Kuntry Klucker

    Kuntry Klucker Premium Member

    Jun 9, 2010
    Tennesee Smoky Mts.
    Thank you, your post is very reassuring. It is comforting to know that you dad has been around them all his life and is unaffected by their pathogens.
    Thanks again.
  7. Kuntry Klucker

    Kuntry Klucker Premium Member

    Jun 9, 2010
    Tennesee Smoky Mts.
    LOL, thanks for your response. We do have plenty of mice around since we live in the country, you do bring up a good point. [​IMG]
  8. Kuntry Klucker

    Kuntry Klucker Premium Member

    Jun 9, 2010
    Tennesee Smoky Mts.
    yes, I do use a N95 respirator when I clean the coop. I wear gloves and goggle when I can keep them from fogging up.
    I clean my coop once a year in the spring thoroughly, I use the deep litter method so I add clean dry shaving the rest of the time.

    You are correct in the aquisition that wild birds do carry many more diseases as they fly over. Thank you for bringing that to my attention,
    I forgot about that little fact.

    Thanks again for your post.
  9. StruckBy

    StruckBy Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 2, 2012
    Marcola, OR
    If he worked in a commercial facility a long time ago, I'm not at all surprised he has lung issues. I lived not far from some commercial places in high school and the ammonia fumes would make your eyes water from the property line...can't imagine how bad they were in the sealed buildings! Not sure how helpful it is to hear things like that my grandparents are in their mid80s & have had chickens for a good chunk of that time since people have the same stories about smokers :lol: BUT what I would think about is how very very few people have gotten sick from having chickens relative to the number of people who haven't. Afterall, pretty much anything can make you sick under the right conditions...even drinking too much water! So you have to look at your odds. It looks like you have clean, well-ventilated facilities & healthy birds so I'm sure you'll be fine.
    1 person likes this.
  10. enola

    enola Overrun With Chickens

    I have been around chickens for over 50 years, horses for about the same amount of time. Slept with a dog when I was a kid, now I have two dogs sleeping with me every night. I wash my hands when I should and expect to live many more years.

    COPD patients should probably not be around chickens. My boyfriend has COPD, so I have to use an outside brooder for my chicks.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by