Children and Chicks

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by lkcaffery, Apr 9, 2012.

  1. lkcaffery

    lkcaffery In the Brooder

    Mar 21, 2012
    Charlotte, NC
    Our first chicks (five of them!) are due to arrive in the mail this week and I can't wait. I have the brooder set up and ready to go but I have a question for all of you experienced chick raisers. My mother was in her local feed and seed store the other day and by their chicks they had some sort of signage which stated not to keep chicks inside and to not let children handle the chicks because children could catch some sort of illness. Now, I know about the dust, but I'm willing to deal with that for a bit as we'll keep our brooder in our sun room for the first little bit. Is there another reason I shouldn't keep them inside in the brooder? Also, part of the reason we're getting chickens is for our children. Our children are three and a half and one and a half years old, and I obviously won't let them hold/squish the chicks, but is there a reason I can't let them pet the chicks? Is there a reason I shouldn't be picking the chicks up and handling them?

    Thanks in advance for any advice!

  2. They've been in our family room for 6 almost 7 weeks and we haven't had a problem. When my kids (older) kids as well as myself, we wash our hands after holding them. I think with any animal you just want to make sure everyone washes up after holding or playing with them.
  3. chicmom

    chicmom Dances with Chickens

    Feb 24, 2009
    Strasburg Ohio

    I've raised chicks for about five years now, and none of my kids have ever gotten sick from petting a chick. I'm sure they've been pooped on too! haha We do have them wash their hands after touching the chicks.

    I always brood my chicks in the basement, in a storage room. There is dust for sure, but we've had no health problems, and I do keep their brooder very clean and stink free! LOL

    My grandkids are pretty young, 2 years old and 6 months old, so I do let them touch the chicks, but like you, I've gotta be careful they don't squish them!

    So enjoy those chicks and don't worry!
  4. Apyl

    Apyl Songster

    Feb 5, 2012
    Necedah, Wi
    I spent my entire childhood around my grandpa's chickens and I dont believe any of us grandkids have ever gotten sick because of the chickens. I am now a chick momma and my 3 kids have been playing with the chicks since day one. My chicks are now 6 weeks old and out in the coop and pen and the kids go out there and play with the chicks. When I was brooding the chicks they were in my living room, but since we started out with 29 chicks the brooder got crowded fast and we moved them to the coop when they were 2 1/2 weeks old. I'm pretty sure my kids have been pooped on at some point, they just wash their hands when they are done. My kids are 10, 5, and 3.

    Congrats on the new chickies coming.
  5. goathill

    goathill In the Brooder

    Apr 9, 2012
    Northeast Ohio
    We have a 19 month old who occasionally is allowed to pet our chicks, and we just wash his hands afterwards. I'm currently about 4mos pregnant and spent quite a bit of time reading about handling farm animals during pregnancy and the only thing that was cautioned against was handling or being around silage. Of course, all recommendations point to lots of hand washing.

    I'm wondering if the signs at the store were actually intended to protect the chickens more than kids. I know that some farmers are real sticklers for protecting their flocks from diseases that can be brought in on the hands and feet of visitors. Maybe this is just something similar?
  6. Life is Good!

    Life is Good! Songster

    Apr 14, 2011
    suburbia Chicagoland
    The signage was to protect the chicks - not the children! Yes, if you already have chickens, and you handle your chickens (don't wash hands), hop in car, go to feed store and handle THEIR chicks there is a slight, remote, chance of contaiminating the feed store chicks. With what? Well, go over to the Emergencies/Diseases/Injuries section of the forum. Read all you can over there to learn more. But warning, it can get graphic over there....

    Also, if children are with parents in a feed store, do you think the adults are there to supervise their children?! So, who's going to protect the chicks from over-zealous children?
  7. nicolets

    nicolets Songster

    May 14, 2010
    Monroe County, PA
    Baby chicks NEED to be inside unless you've got some pretty amazing temperatures outside. Still, they shouldn't until four to six weeks of age, perhaps three at the least. Also, you don't need to worry about any illnesses - just be sure to wash before (for the chicks' welfare) and after you handle them. [​IMG]

  8. MonsterMom

    MonsterMom In the Brooder

    Mar 2, 2012
    No worries!

    I have an almost-5, an almost-3, and an almost-1, and they get supervised chick holding time (ok, not the baby, lol, she gets supervised chick watching time). Nobody has gotten sick yet, and we just have them wash their hands afterwards. They love to sit and eat their meals near the chickies, and to give them bits of scrambled eggs I've cooked up.

    My guess is the sign was mostly to keep rambunctious and un-minded children from touching and possibly hurting the chicks.
  9. stephensc7146

    stephensc7146 Chirping

    Apr 4, 2012
    Southeastern, Ohio
    My brooder is set up right next to my bed in my room. I clean it out often, and always wash my hands after I'm done dealing with them. I am trying to 'socialize' my chicks, so they get handled a lot. My grandma loved them when I brought them over. You're suppose to watch letting children and older folk from dealing with chicks because they have a lower immune system, but as long as you wash your hands and you are watching to make sure your kids don't rub their eyes, or put their hands in their mouth, etc, then you should be perfectly fine!
  10. lkcaffery

    lkcaffery In the Brooder

    Mar 21, 2012
    Charlotte, NC
    Thanks to all for your responses! I will not worry at all now and we will all of course wash our hands before and after handling the chicks. I am hoping our five babies arrive tomorrow or Wednesday at the latest!

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by