Cuddling your chickens?

Csukraw

Hatching
Jul 6, 2019
7
2
9
Not sure this is the right forum. I keep running across articles about the dangers of treating backyard chickens like pets. Meaning picking them up, playing with them, cuddling them etc... The danger would be getting salmonella.

We have 3 chickens and my daughter (6 years old) loves them all. Constantly picking them up and loving on them when they're out. They're very tame and friendly. Is this a real danger? If it's truly a realistic threat, we may decide to get rid of them. Hard to get my daughter to stop petting them and picking them up. Just wondering what you all thought about it. Here's a recent article I read.

CDC Warns Americans to Stop Kissing, Snuggling Their Chickens
https://www.newsweek.com/cdc-stop-kissing-chickens-1458082
 

DobieLover

Easily distracted by chickens
Premium Feather Member
Jul 23, 2018
33,361
271,568
1,642
NY Southern Tier
My Coop
My Coop
Not sure this is the right forum. I keep running across articles about the dangers of treating backyard chickens like pets. Meaning picking them up, playing with them, cuddling them etc... The danger would be getting salmonella.

We have 3 chickens and my daughter (6 years old) loves them all. Constantly picking them up and loving on them when they're out. They're very tame and friendly. Is this a real danger? If it's truly a realistic threat, we may decide to get rid of them. Hard to get my daughter to stop petting them and picking them up. Just wondering what you all thought about it. Here's a recent article I read.

CDC Warns Americans to Stop Kissing, Snuggling Their Chickens
https://www.newsweek.com/cdc-stop-kissing-chickens-1458082
Petting them and picking them up isn't the issue so much as kissing them or putting your hands on your face after handling the birds.
A little common sense goes a long way here.
I would look at this as a good opportunity to teach your daughter proper hygiene habits.
I have a dedicated pair of rubber shoes I keep on the deck that I wear when entering the chicken pen. These shoes do not come in the house. I always wash my hands when I've done ANYTHING in the chicken pen (collect eggs, lock up for the night, etc.)
These are habits that every chicken keeper should practice.
 

Folly's place

Enabler
10 Years
Sep 13, 2011
23,605
39,753
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southern Michigan
It's reasonable to WASH, and not have the birds, or any critter, right in your face. People can get nasty diseases for chickens, dogs, cats, or whatever, especially if the person has a compromised immune system, or is very young.
It's fine to have chickens, or whatever, but it makes sense to wash up after handling them, wear a face mask when cleaning their coop, and keeping them away from your face and eyes.
Toddlers can't learn this, but six year olds, and older, should.
Many of us played in awful mud and did very stupid things as children, and lived through it all. A few children likely didn't do so well.
There's an issue with modern children in some places being too protected from nature, and the earth, and critters, and having underdeveloped immune systems as a result.
There's a happy place in there somewhere, and I don't believe it's living away from nature or any animals at all.
Mary
 

outsageous

In the Brooder
Jul 4, 2019
36
42
44
Panama City Beach, Florida
Not sure this is the right forum. I keep running across articles about the dangers of treating backyard chickens like pets. Meaning picking them up, playing with them, cuddling them etc... The danger would be getting salmonella.

We have 3 chickens and my daughter (6 years old) loves them all. Constantly picking them up and loving on them when they're out. They're very tame and friendly. Is this a real danger? If it's truly a realistic threat, we may decide to get rid of them. Hard to get my daughter to stop petting them and picking them up. Just wondering what you all thought about it. Here's a recent article I read.

CDC Warns Americans to Stop Kissing, Snuggling Their Chickens
https://www.newsweek.com/cdc-stop-kissing-chickens-1458082

I have a duck who stays inside with me & I constantly have people telling me about the ‘risks.’ He is always with me, all over me, & even sleeps with me. & of course, I ‘kiss’ him. I’ve never had anything bad happen. I do keep everything very clean, & wash my hands A LOT. As long as you practice good hygiene, I think it’s fine. Of course, there is a possibility, & it probably makes a difference that they’re outside. So I would say to be sure to take more caution.
 

Ebony Rose

Crowing
12 Years
May 26, 2009
2,506
5,655
471
David, Chiriquí, Panama
The way to a strong immune system is to subject it to small doses of what you'd like to be resistant or immune to. Unless your daughter is immuno-compromised, it's unlikely that with good sanitation habits (like washing hands after petting the chickens) that your chickens will make your daughter ill. You will need to caution your daughter to not kiss the chickens, but this precaution is more to prevent getting pecked in the eye than a real salmonella risk. Chickens love eyes, and glasses. Probably something to do with the glossy effect of the lens or eye.
 

MANNA-PRO

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