Keep a clean coop


Jul 16, 2018
Carlsbad Ca
I hate to sound like a broken record but the latest news reporting 49 states blaming their salmonella out break on Back yard chicken breeders should be of concern to all of us who raise chickens ,whether for personal use or commercial purposes.
I am not convinced there are that many states with irresponsible back yard chicken breeders .
Are they not washing their hands after they have been in the coop or handled their birds and eggs? because it's the first thing any f us in the family do.Wash your hands! Are they not cooking their eggs or chicken meat properly to a safe doneness?
Seriously can there be all of a sudden that many people in 49 states that irresponsible??
I wonder how many of them also keep reptiles?? Reptiles, snakes, lizards , turtles all reptiles are notorious salmonella carriers .
I have noticed so many times when people show pics on this or other chicken websites , that their coops and runs look pretty disgusting and less than clean.
People jut keep doing what chicken ring people have done for centuries unfortunately .
They put straw in the lay box .They have just straight on dirt or just dirt on the coop floor and run areas .
Well, you can't clean straw! and when it rains that dirt and straw in the run turns to a muddy poopy disgusting mess .YULK!
I learned after 17 years of making the mistakes, when a man I hired to build my chicken coop told me the best way to keep a coop and run area and nesting boxes clean and fly free and I have thanked him in my heart ever since .
No straw EVER ! Put pine shavings in the nesting boxes, and most importantly , "Washed Plaster Sand" on the coop and run floor . But only washed plaster sand ( about 3 bucks for a 50# bag at any Home Depot or Lowes ). Any other sand will be bad for the girls to breath . The poop will suspend on the sand and make it easy to simply rake up the poop off the top of the sand and toss in the garden or compost pile . The girls will bee able to dust bath in it it's never muddy.
My coop never smells ad I never have flies!!!! M chickens keep clean and happy !!
OK, I found some articles. Let's get a little perspective on this issue. The articles I read stated about 768 backyard chicken owners in 48 states (16 per state) got salmonella (no proof that they got it from their chickens). Compare that to the approximately 1.2 million people in the U.S. (333,333 per state) who become infected with salmonella each year (according to the CDC). Backyard chicken owners are NOT the problem. Again, there's no proof that the backyard chicken owners got salmonella from their chickens. They could have gotten it from store bought chicken, or something else entirely.
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Let's face it! If you're around chickens you're getting exposed to salmonella. Maybe you'll get salmonella poisoning. I have. I had diarrhea and a couple lousy days when I was first chicken keeping. Then my immune system came up to speed and it's now a non-issue.

When I check my coop it's part of a group of outdoor activities including my gardening. Unless I'm cooking I may or may not wash my hands but it's probably not until I've returned to the house in any event. But my immune system is with me wherever I go and whatever I do.

Be sensible. Don't expose someone who is vulnerable. But, at this point, I could probably swallow chicken poo and live. I'm not gonna, but I suspect I could.

Immune systems! Use 'em or lose 'em!

PS Kids who eat dirt and roll around with animals are much healthier than kids who live in tidy anti-bacterial wiped bubbles.
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Again, there's no proof that the backyard chicken owners got salmonella from their chickens.
There are stories every year...none are really precise about who and how.
But no doubt, backyard keepers with little kids kissing chickens is definitely a vector.

This thread is as much of a 'shock and awe' carrier as those stories.
I have 2 coops, in one of my coops I have a 99cent bottle of soft soap that I wash my hands with at the hydrant after I finished my chores with the chickens. Sometimes I do, sometimes I don't Depending on what I'm doing when I'm done. But its there for when I want it. People have been keeping chickens for centuries, and people have been getting sick for just as long. Not surprised some folks get a little sick after handling their chickens. For me, they are livestock not pet, and are treated as such. I don't kiss chickens, and I won't let my kids do so either.
This post reads as a personal advertisement. Only my way is the right way and all y'all are doing it wrong and spreading disease. I'm not convinced. Salmonella outbreaks are a fairly recent thing, and started with large scale farming (of both livestock and produce) and its filthy conditions. From there, it can spread to anything, including your backyard chickens. People used to eat raw eggs back in the day and be fine. I grew up kissing chickens and only washing my hands at mealtime, and back then I'd never even heard of salmonella itself. My mom goes even farther back and she would eat raw eggs and be fine, everybody did it back then and nobody got salmonella (hollandaise sauce came from somewhere, after all). Now everything can be a source of contamination, even your store-bought lettuce.

My town offers salmonella tests for backyard flocks. People should have their birds tested periodically (if possible) to know if there's a real danger or not. And pay more attention to washing their produce and treating anything store-bought, meat or eggs or produce, as poison until treated properly.
This is the primary reason I wanted chickens in my ridiculously urban and unlikely environment. I wanted eggs from chickens that I knew had a good life. I wanted to be the one who assured that.

It's also why I grow as much of my produce as I'm able to. It's not nearly what we eat. I don't fool myself about that. But it's a very rewarding thing to eat something that represents your own labors and a great lesson for kids about what kind of work it takes to feed and sustain yourself.
This is the primary reason I wanted chickens in my ridiculously urban and unlikely environment.
Yes, and also I wanted eggs and meat that don't have the potential to kill you. It's sad that we've gotten to the point where raw eggs and raw chicken has to be treated like poison. I feel like my cutting boards are never clean enough (they even recommend you keep separate ones for the poisonous dreaded chicken meat!) I'm hoping for salmonella-free chickens so I can finally make homemade mayo and not kill my family with it. I think it's easier to keep a small backyard flock salmonella-free than it is a large factory farm. So I would actually trust backyard chickens more than actual large farms.

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