Diseases chicken spread? Risk of illness??


In the Brooder
8 Years
Jan 13, 2012
I know that chickens can be dirty and can spread illness, according to the CDC. My question is how prevelant is illness in people that raise chickens? How in danger are my children (3yr old and 1yr old) for sickness? I just want to make sure that I am not putting my family in harms way. Thanks again for all the feedback!
If anything exposing the children to natural levels of germs is likely to help them develop normal immune systems.

Chickens can and do harbour bacteria that can be passed to humans, but it is nothing basic soap and water handwashing and reasonable comon sense supervision and education of childeren can't deal with. Diseases for the most part are not zoonotic and don't pass from chicken to human, bird flu is a possible exception by so very rare to about that would be nutty.

People are way to freaked out about germs, in particular, people who's jobs depends upon keeping people freaked out.
Usually the chickens can get illness from wild birds that carry the bird flu. If a chicken drinks their water with wild bird poo in it, it may carry the bird flu. But if you keep your chickens cage clean, with shavings, and clean out their water bowl with a non-soaped scrub brush (to keep down algae) chances are your chicken will not get a illness.

If you have numerous chickens, like 10 in a pen together, they may get Coccidiosis which is like when chickens peck at each others feces, and maybe Marek's Disease, symptoms are having trouble walking or being lethargic. You need to contain them fast because it is a disease, I lost 1 out of 3 to it.

But if you start out with 3 chickens that's a good choice.
Chickens carry camplyobacter in their feces. I got this the second week I had chickens. I don't know if it was a coincidence or not.. I have a bad immune system. I was sick in the hospital - in isolation for a week.

My dogs were eating the poop and probably licked me after, transferring the bacteria to me.

Campylobacter is one of the most common causes of diarrhea illness in the United States. The vast majority of cases occur as isolated, sporadic events, not as part of recognized outbreaks. Active surveillance through FoodNet indicates that about 13 cases are diagnosed each year for each 100,000 persons in the population. Many more cases go undiagnosed or unreported, and campylobacteriosis is estimated to affect over 2.4 million persons every year, or 0.8% of the population. Campylobacteriosis occurs much more frequently in the summer months than in the winter. The organism is isolated from infants and young adults more frequently than from persons in other age groups and from males more frequently than females. Although Campylobacter does not commonly cause death, it has been estimated that approximately 124 persons with Campylobacter infections die each year.

My form caused ulcers in my bowl. It took me 3 months to recover.

Campylobacter jejuni grows best at the body temperature of a bird, and seems to be well adapted to birds, who carry it without becoming ill.

Many chicken flocks are infected with Campylobacter but show no signs of illness. Campylobacter can be easily spread from bird to bird through a common water source or through contact with infected feces. When an infected bird is slaughtered, Campylobacter organisms can be transferred from the intestines to the meat. In 2005, Campylobacter was present on 47% of raw chicken breasts tested through the FDA-NARMS Retail Food program. Campylobacter is also present in the giblets, especially the liver.

Note: I did not eat my chickens, so it could only come from their poop. At the time, they were not laying eggs.

Though I did watch a little 2 year old that had very bad diarrhea the weekend before I got sick.. So it could not have been from my chickens.. It could still happen though.

Not dangerous, but not fun to get either!

You can read more here.
I never let my dogs lick my face, because I never know what they are eating....:sick

I do know what my dogs are eating and licking. That's why they don't lick my face. :eek:

Any pet, dog, cat, chicken, turtle, or whatever can give you diseases. Follow reasonable hygeine, which mainly involves soap and water and keeping your dirty hands away from your face, and your risks are greatly reduced.

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