Is handling baby chicks safe for my kids?

14 chickens & counting

9 Years
Jan 6, 2011
Buena Vista, GA
So, my kids and I have been very excited telling my family back home about our babies and the process of incubating and hatching we went through. My kids LOVE talking about the babies with my mom. Though, my mom doesn't understand the love because I DID NOT grow up on a farm.
Today my mom goes to the local feed store back home and they have chicks. She talks to someone there and they explain to her that they are not dying the chicks this year due to the fact that the chicks have the potential to spread disease to the children that pick them up. And if you dye the chicks it makes them that much more irresistable to the children. So I promised her I would look it up and see JUST how dangerous it is for my children to be picking up chicks. I KNOW there is a potential to spread some forms of bacteria and other stuff so I PREACH and watch my children wash their hands WHENEVER they handle a chick. My kids are 11 & 8. So, I am bringing the question to best EXPERTS on the internet (in my opinion) about chicken stuff, in hopes you all can clear up any fears of my kids handling the baby chicks.

Just how dangerous is it for children to handle baby chicks?

Thanks for your help.
My 10 and 8 year old kids handle the chickens as much as I do. We have the rule to wash your hands before you handle and after you handle.

I'm pretty sure we've all been pooped on, too. If you have healthy chickens, I really don't think it's anything to worry about. Have fun with the chicks!
First of all I'm so glad their not dying the chicks it's so mean in my point of view. And second of all HECK YA they can hold the babys Honstey the FSC is talking Lil' ones three and four. By now you childrens immune system should be built up enough. If the chicks immune system is strong enough to handle it the kid's should be too. It's still a good idea not to let them hold sick hens/chicks and tell them to wash their hands but other than that teir fine.
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No, it is not safe. The adorableness of it is contagious and will contribute to unexpected multiplying of your flock, via CHICKEN MATH.

Just kidding - you see my avatar. Plus I used to volunteer at a science museum where we took shifts letting kids handle baby chicks. Just have them wash their hands.
yep, good old handwashing or the antiseptic gel works great. Shouldn't be a problem. Now, I might not want them around during coop cleaning. That does stir up some germs.
Thanks for asking that! I was actually wondering myself, since I have a 6, 4 and 1 yr old. All 3 of which, of course, want to help with the chicks. And funny enough, the chicks seem quite content with my girls holding them. One is still a little skittish, but the other LOVES to be held.
My 18 month old grandsons were playing in the coop with my chicks last fall and have been ever since! We just wash up every time. I think it's great for kids and chicks to be played with.
To the OP (and others with children who handle chicks):

Hand washing is only as effective as the child doing the washing....front, back and between the fingers for a FULL 30 seconds(rinsing time is part of the 30 seconds)....that's how long it takes to sing the ABC's twice.

And paper towels so no one picks up germs from the child who didn't finish the full 30 seconds (cuz most of them won't and the one that really did wash well will be recontaminated from the family towel...and of course, be the only one that gets sick...sigh)

(this tip brought to you based on 25 years of day care and all the training that is required to keep my license) (and I sang the ABC's over a million times cuz they thought it was cuter if *I* sang it than doing it themselves)

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