Can the Swine Flu virus mutate to chickens? Keeping my chickens safe


In the Brooder
10 Years
Apr 4, 2009
My daughter was feeling sick this weekend. Then I got sick and went to see the doctor just in case. There was 1 case of the swine flu in town a few weeks ago, so I figured that it was a cold or something, but wanted to be safe. She prescribed Tamiflu. Yesterday she called to tell me that I tested positive for the type A flu and is sending my sample to CDC for confirmation. She told me that she was certain that I have it. My husband was feeling bad Tuesday and finally came home early from work yesterday. When I called the school this morning, I was told that half of my daughter's class was home sick and they had several cases of the swine flu in the class. With all that evidence, I assume that we must have it.

I haven't thought about the chickens. Can I pass this to them? Can it go from human to poultry? I haven't necessarily washed my hands before I changed food or water or worried about breathing on them.

I don't know the official answer to this question...but we are ine week 2 of confirmed swine flu in our household. This unfortunately includes me too!
My chickens have not had any adverse reaction to being exposed to swine flu. There is not a lot of cross contamination with them. I scoop their feed, their water comes out of the hose or faucet. Even when I'm moving them from their run to the coop for the night there is no contact that would cause concern--they aren't touching my doorknobs then eating w/o washing their hands or in the path of my coughing.

Great question and good luck. Swine flu isn't that big a's just the flu; and like any flu some folks get sicker than others.
You ask a wonderful question, though.

We won't know until (if) a case of human top bird transmission is reported.
I'd wear a mask in the coop both to keep dust out of your lungs and in case your fears are confirmed. If you want a viral level mask drug stores and hardware stores carry the appropriate version (can't remember the number).

We were at ground zero of the first outbreak in Canada and my husband was ill but I seemed to have skipped it. Hoping I'm immune. During this time I put my coop clothing in the laundry immediately after each visit and kept hand wipes in the coop with alcohol base. These wipes have been provided by all businesses in the area ever since. As a poultry owner I don't want to be the one whose birds are culled. So, like you, I'm being very careful.

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