Chickens can compromise an immune system?


11 Years
Feb 7, 2008
East Tennessee
I saw a sign at TSC that children and anyone with a compromised immune sysstem should wash their hands after handling chickens. I must of missed this - I have a compromised immune system - breast cancer - twice - but I only stopped with the birds during chemo - anyone know about this?
Well, everyone should wash their hands after handling chicks and they are dusty, so if you have a compromised immune system, you could very well get a respiratory infection or be more susceptible to getting sick from things you touch. Chickens, and any animal can be a risk.
Wait, WHAT?!? I don't want to hear about this. My 4 year old has a compromised immune system from one of the drugs she is taking.

Crap. Guess I will have to place a call to her rheumatologist Monday. Not too late to cancel the order and I suppose the base of the coop could be converted to a giant rabbit hutch or something .
Chicks have poop on them.
Poop can transmit E.coli and Salmonella.
Both are worse for people with compromised immune systems.
Wash you hands and dont kiss the chicks.

Edited to add: For most people, normal handwashing should be adequate. People with seriously compromised immune systems should contact their doctors to see what precautions they should take around any farm animals.
Really? I always wash my hands after caring for my birds, but that's just a smart thing to do. I've even cared for my birds when I was sick and I don't think they made me sicker! Actually, caring for my birds has made me feel better numerous times. Fresh air and the act of caring for something do wonders for my health
Ok, any infectious illness that a normal, healthy person can get a person with a compromised immune system can get more easily. Often people with "compromised immune systems" are also lumped in with the elderly and babies. This means people with compromised immune systems should be more careful of avoiding exposure to anything that can make anybody sick.
Did I make sense?
Alright, I'll stop panicking now. She goes to preschool and has a little sister in day care. I'm not sure if it is physically possible to come in contact with more germs than she currently does.

If e coli and salmonella are the concerns, I think a dispenser of that alcohol based antibacterial sanitizer near the entrance to the coop should be sufficient. I'm pretty sure both those bugs are affected by the sanitizer stuff.

I'm just a little jumpy today. Tonight is the night I sneak into her room to give her her weekly injection while she is sleeping and it makes me a little crazy. As soon as that is done, I am off to find a beer.
They are just trying to cover themselves in case someone gets sick and blames it on the chickens at the feedstore. If your immune system is THAT compromised, I think you'd get sick almost anywhere.

I think about this off and on. The health dept would have a field day at our house gathering germs. We live in a dairy community. Not only are there chickens out back, manure trucks drive around the streets. I'm sure any kid getting off the school bus and walking into the house drags in tons of germs. I walk through the muddy backyard which the chickens have pooped in and then into the house. I could get muck boots but ... oh well.

One thing I think is interesting, I've never heard about any kid around here coming down with e coli. I think the little bits of crud that we accidently ingest into our systems makes us a bit immune to things that gets others sick.
Ole-crone, there is a study that farm children have FAR fewer allergies than any other group of children, and it's because they are exposed to lots of dirt, manure, bacteria etc very young, and therefore their bodies learn early to "recognize" the difference between harmful and non-harmful entities. Whereas allergies are reactions to things that are NOT harmful, but the allergic person's body does not recognize that they are not harmful.

Anyone else ever heard of this?

I read about it in National Geographic recently because they are now doing longer term studies on farm children and allergies.

They suggest that a typical household has too FEW germs, dirt, bacteria, pollens, etc, and that children are more likely to get allergies in a super-clean environment.

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