Help!!! Giving up baby chicks because of Salmonella article!

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by homechick, Mar 30, 2007.

  1. homechick

    homechick Songster

    Mar 26, 2007
    Mineola, Tx
    I am so depressed after reading this:
    These are not "easter chicks" to me. I always wanted a flock of chickens and now I have to give up my babies because I have a 5 year old that has good intentions but forgets to wash his hands sometimes and I also have a 10 month old baby who eats everything and a diabetic mother that babysits when I'm at work. I don't think it would be very good for my baby and mother to get salmonella considering their immune system.
    Does anybody know of a "cure" or some kind of vacinne for this? Antibiotic? Something? I don't want to give them up! I was just starting to build their chicken coop. [​IMG].
    Who would I give my 5 little darlings too? How could I trust them?

    ~ Sad mother hen.
  2. Llysse

    Llysse Songster

    Mar 11, 2007
  3. Marion

    Marion Songster

    Feb 21, 2007
    Wilmington, NC
    I think that teaching a child proper handling of pets is essential in preventing all sorts of bacterial illnesses. The media is so quick to pick up on "dangers" to us and our children and can find a new danger every single day if they choose. Getting rid of pets to me seems to not be the answer. From mutt to blue-blooded champion, all dogs harbor so-called coliform bacteria, which live in the gut. The group includes E. coli, a bacterium that can cause disease, and fecal coliform bacteria, which spread through feces. Dogs also carry salmonella and giardia... shall we banish our dogs as well? Salmonella poisoning usually occurs as a result of eating contaminated food, such as eggs or meat, but a number of cases were reported in people infected through contact with animals, usually snakes or turtles and now pet chicks, ducklings, kittens and hedgehogs have also been linked to human outbreaks.

    Now according to the CDC rodents have joined the list. The agency said on Thursday that 15 people in 10 states had contracted Salmonella Typhimurium in 2003 and 2004 after direct exposure to various types of rodents purchased from pet stores. U.S. health officials to warn the public to take care when handling mice, rats and hamsters after human cases of salmonella have been linked to pet rodents.

    Keeping our pets healthy and their environment clean AND educating our children on the proper handling and care of those pets is the answer... IMO.
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2007
  4. hencackle

    hencackle Songster

    Mar 25, 2007
    Telford, TN
    Just teach your son to wash his hands with soap. Plain soap works just fine. You don't need to use a harsh antibacterial product which disrupts the natural flora present on skin.

    Here's an antibacterial soap article from Dr. Mercola's website:

    Last edited: Mar 30, 2007
  5. justusnak

    justusnak Flock Mistress

    Feb 28, 2007
    South Eastern Indiana
    Homechick.....ok, this is just MY opinion....some might agree, and I am sure most wont. Here goes. 20 years ago, and longer...we never heard of salmonella....people have been raiseing chickens, and other barnyard animals...and all was good....UNTILL our wonderfull government stepped in and started " finding" illness and such, and " warning" the people. I for one, as a child, was raised around chickens...and other a barefoot country kid. Did I wash my hands EVERY time I touched an animal?? I doubt it. Our animals were healthy, and so were us kids. Im not saying...let your kids roll around in the poo...but exposure, in SMALL amounts I believe, builds up an immunity to a certain degree. I am NOT saying kids will be immune to Salmonela in ANY way...and if there is a sick animal...indeed...wash in betewen handling...keep the chicks...and enjoy them for many years. You wil be glad you did!
  6. robin416

    robin416 Songster

    Feb 6, 2007
    Leave it to the media to cause unneccessary panic. I am dead set against all this antibacterial cleansing products, I am against innoculating our children against every thing that they can possibly come into contact with. We are setting ourselves up for some very serious issues because advertising and the media have caused concern where there isn't any. How did the earth become so populated before we had all these products to debug us?

    I can not tell you the number of times I had samonella poisoning from the box turtles we had as kids. Who knew? It didn't surface about the problem until years later that they harbored the bacteria, I'm still here and have not suffered any long term ills because of it.

    If you are that concerned forbid the children from handling the birds when you are not home then enforce the washing of hands afterwards or no more handling of the chicks. Its something they need to learn even after the birds, dogs, guinea pigs are older and needing regular care.
  7. hinkjc

    hinkjc Crowing

    Jan 11, 2007
    I don't think you should part with your chicks over the chance of getting ill from them. Practice good hygiene and you'll be fine like all of us. Repetitive is key with children and they learn fast. Every time their little hand goes in the brooder, remind them that they must wash with soap. It is our job as parents to teach our children good habits. You'll find that they get into a great habit of cleaning up afterwards.

    Some things to you stop giving your child a treat because the sugar in candy can lead to diabetes? Do you stop buying store bought eggs because it has been linked to high cholestorol and heart disease? Do you stop buying bananas and spinach because E.coli has been found on them in a certain state? Most of us don't. What we do is take what we know and use it. That means limiting things and altering the way we do things - not taking them out of our lives completely. JMO

  8. MTchick

    MTchick Songster

    Feb 2, 2007
    Western Montana
    I personally think you are making a mistake giving up those chicks. The chance that your children get sick from handling them is extremely small, and you can control their behavior (mandate hand washing, limit handling) and provide a really good example to the kids about proper animal handling and cleanliness.

    Also, commercial eggs from the supermarket are well-documented bearers of salmonella. Thus, if you have your own little flock of hens that are healthy and happy, you are probably lowering your families risk!

    Incidentally, I've never forgiven my mother for prohibiting me from having a pet turtle because of salmonella risk.

  9. MTchick

    MTchick Songster

    Feb 2, 2007
    Western Montana

    Here goes. 20 years ago, and longer...we never heard of salmonella....

    You know, you aren't wrong on this at all! Salmonella did not start having significant outbreaks in commercial farms until the 1980's. The reason for this is unclear, but common sense suggests that either it mutated to a more contagious form, or it reached critical mass in the "battery farm" world and became epidemic through sheer luck.

    Anyway, you aren't nuts or paranoid on this topic. Some diseases really did not exist in problematic levels (or at all) when people over 40-ish were young (I was young in the '80s, so this doesn't really apply to me). Think HIV, Ebola, Lymes Disease, Salmonella... OK, I don't want to freak people out. I'm done.

  10. homechick

    homechick Songster

    Mar 26, 2007
    Mineola, Tx
    Wow, thank you to all that have already responded and anymore are welcome! I still have not decided what to do and I really wish there were something else that could prevent getting ill. The thing that worries me is that after 5 years of teaching my son to wash his hands, use a papertowel to open public bathroom doors and yes, we even use the hand sanitizer, he tends to get distracted easily. When he plays with the chicks, I remind him to wash his hands afterwords but just yesterday I got destracted with my 10 month old and after my 5 year old got done playing, he went over to the babies toys and started messing with them. After I read that report, I could see my 10 month old baby getting sick for 5 days and possibly getting hospitalized for Salmonella. A very traumatizing thing for a baby.
    I am not a sanitizing freak (and I definately don't change my lifestyle dramatically after every report) and I used to spend hours playing and cleaning my grandmothers chicken coop as a child. I just don't want to sit in a hospital with my baby or mother and regret keeping chickens that I don't need. The chickens, as much as I say they are for my son to experience what I got to experience, are for me. I am heartbroken at the thought of giving them up but I don't want my mother to have that stress over her all day.. trying to stay on top of keeping the germs in the chicken area.
    *sigh*... thanks for all of your help. [​IMG]

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: