Can My Birds Make Me Sick?

Discussion in 'Random Ramblings' started by BeckyLa, Nov 4, 2007.

  1. BeckyLa

    BeckyLa Songster

    Jan 11, 2007
    N. Louisiana
    It seems that over the past year or so I have been sick a lot. Not bad enough for the Dr, just icky, muscle pain, exhausted, that kinda stuff. I don't think I have fibromialgia, my sis has that and it's not the same. A friend told me that I could have picked up a bacteria that is carried in the dander of chickens. That I should wear gloves whenever I touch a bird and gloves, mask, long sleeves, etc, when I clean out the coop. Has anyone had this problem? Sometimes I get better for a while but then it all begins again. I have thought and can't find a pattern. Anyone ever have this problem???

    Last edited: Nov 4, 2007
  2. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD

    As long as you wash your hands and avoid excessive litter dust like you should no matter what animal you raise, or garage you clean, you should be fine. Chickens themselves have very few diseases and sicknesses they can give you per se. They can carry salmonella but if you cook your meat and eggs, that should not be a problem. As for "chicken germs" making you sick, I don't believe in that, especially from people not very familiar with birds and the whole bird flu hype. If you are noticing an over all decline in health though, maybe speak with your primary care doctor and make sure you don't have any other health problems that may be just starting up or being aggravated by chickens? What about molds if litter gets damp?I personally have no problem with my birds but all my coops are very open so nothing can collect that is airborne.

    Good luck.
  3. serendipity22

    serendipity22 Songster

    Jul 1, 2007
    I wear one of those inexpensive face masks when I clean my coops and spread out the DE. Mainly to protect my sinuses cause they're kinda sensitive. It's helped bunches.

    The symptoms that you've listed could be any number of things. If your sis is already diagnosed with Fibromialgia, it could be that. Or something like Mono or Lupus or just a virus.

    Point being, I don't think it's the chickens. Have your Dr run some tests and see if anything comes up.

    I hope you get some answers...
  4. lexustami

    lexustami Songster

    Jun 14, 2007
    St. Clairsville, OH
    Sounds like Lyme Disease to me.

    Go to Lyme Net

    Take care and good luck.

  5. rooster-red

    rooster-red Here comes the Rooster

    Jun 10, 2007
    Douglasville GA
    The symptoms you describe cover a wide range of ills, some deadly serious and some just plain irritating.

    since they are recurring I would strongly suggest you go to your Doctor with this problem just in case.
  6. SeaChick

    SeaChick Songster

    Apr 25, 2007
    Southern Maine
  7. picklespickles

    picklespickles Songster

    Oct 27, 2007
    i have a family member who can't be around chickens. there are some people who are made ill by them. don't know if you're one or if it's just coincedence. i'd talk to a doctor. with my family, it manifested through the lungs.
  8. SpottedCrow

    SpottedCrow Flock Goddess

    I'm healthier with the chickens than without them...
    Unless you're eating chicken poop, you should be okay.
    The only thing with the dander is that if you're asthmatic, it could set an attack off. there is no bacteria in the dander that I know of. Lice, and mite doo could set off an asthma attack also. Marek's is transmitted by chicken dander, but we don't get Mareks.
    If your litter gets damp then just toss it out, but it's more likely to get the chicks sick than you.
    I turned 43 this Sept and I have a lot more pains, aches and crud like that then I have previously.
  9. Chickerdoodle13

    Chickerdoodle13 The truth is out there...

    Mar 5, 2007
    Phoenix, AZ
    Sounds a lot like lymes to me. I would speak to a doctor about it! Don't let it go too long, because you can actually have muscle and nervous tissue damage if it is not taken care of. Just have a blood test to make sure. You can also check out a bunch of other things too, so it may be worth it!

    It could be any range of things though. Sometimes things are just a coincidence. When I started college, I began getting this itchy rash and I thought I was having and allergic reaction to something in my room. It turns out I was bitten by a chigger and not by anything in my room! So, sometimes things just seem to happen at the same time and that's why you have attributed it to your chickens.

    Good luck!
  10. Yes the chickens could make you sick. And the earlier post about the dander is the cause. I have a friend who LOVES birds. She almost died raising them. Just like talcum powder is bad for our lungs, so is their dander. It bothers some people more than others - some have no reaction.

    She raised cockatiels and fostered unwanted parrots. She thought she had the flu, and as far as the doctors could tell, it appeared that her immune system had decided that her lungs were the cause and started killing off the tissue. It was very scary. The doctors thought that even if the immune system stopped doing damage, the damage done could never be repaired. It was a matter of wait and see. We all hoped it would stop before horrible damage had been done.

    About that time they diagnosed her with fibro. She started asking around at the bird club she was active in and found others with the same problem. Her lungs stopped trying to kill her but one of the others in the club ended up dying from it. She figured it was because he never changed his contact with birds - he slept with his parrot. She gave away most of her breeding stock and kept one nastly ol' parrot no one wanted (she eventually found a home for this one too).

    Her life today is constant doctors and her lungs are very weak. She's thinking about getting chickens again since they'll live outside.

    So, always listen to your body. Even if you do take precautions, there is always a chance you are sensitive to them - perhaps allergic.

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