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How often should I wash my hands?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by LLCoyote, Mar 14, 2015.

  1. LLCoyote

    LLCoyote Chirping

    May 24, 2011
    Ok, so I raised goslings in the past and everything was totally fine (and thus far the chickens are about a million times cleaner) but for some reason, now that I have chickens, everyone I know is terrified I'm going to get bird flu from them.

    I wash my hands before and after I handle them, that way no one is spreading germs to anyone, but this doesn't seem to be enough to put my family's mind at ease. I can't find any threads or articles already explaining this and I'd really like to know if I'm doing this correctly. If I am, could you give me some advice on what to tell my family to put them at ease?
  2. song of joy

    song of joy Crowing 6 Years

    Apr 22, 2012
    Central Pennsylvania
    You are much more likely to get salmonella than avian influenza from chickens.

    The CDC has health guidelines for handling chicks to prevent spread of salmonella, which is the most common disease spread from chicks to humans. Chickens may carry salmonella and show no signs of sickness, but still end up infecting people http://www.cdc.gov/features/salmonellababybirds/

    When it comes to bird flu (avian influenza), the birds themselves may get sick and die. Chickens contract avian influenza through contact with wild birds or their feces. Precautions include 1) purchasing chicks from a NPIP hatchery that monitors for avian influenza, 2) keeping chickens isolated from wild birds to reduce the risk of exposure to avian influenza, and 3) having sick/dead chickens tested to determine cause of death. Unless chickens have been exposed to wild birds (e.g., wild birds are nesting in their coop or run, eating out of the feeders, chickens are feeding underneath wild bird feeders, etc.), their risk of exposure would be small. If they had avian influenza, they would most likely get sick and die, so you would know something is wrong.

    For more information, check out the CDC's avian influence page
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2015
    1 person likes this.
  3. LLCoyote

    LLCoyote Chirping

    May 24, 2011
    Thank you very much! My chicks are inside, but they're no where near where we eat and I'm very particular about being clean. They've never come into contact with wild birds. The links are really helpful!

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