Kids, Backyard Sharing, Poop, and Salmonella

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by jennyf, Jul 13, 2016.

  1. jennyf

    jennyf Chillin' With My Peeps

    429
    99
    111
    Apr 24, 2016
    Missouri
    Seems like a lot of people let chickens out for supervised backyard time. What do y'all do about the poop issue when you have kids as well? I've read the CDC salmonella cautions and we wash our hands after handling (kids are 3 and 5 and are in the backyard a LOT). Would like to let chickens out of their run too but then kids and poop would be mixing pretty thoroughly. I'm probably being a worrywart but would love to get others take on this.
     
  2. Mrs. K

    Mrs. K Overrun With Chickens

    4,838
    1,512
    366
    Nov 12, 2009
    western South Dakota
    There will be people on here that will tell you that kids and chickens have mixed together for years. And while that is true, it often ignores the fact of space. A lot depends on the size of the yard.

    A smaller yard, means a higher concentration of poop and the more likely that the kids are going to be in it. At the ages of your children, who still rather constantly put their hands in their mouth, I would recommend keeping them separate.

    Also, if you have a rooster, the rooster is going to see this as his territory, and could very possibly attack the kids for playing in their yard.

    Chickens are domesticated animals, that can live confined. Many people on here, think that if they free range in the backyard, they can have more chickens, but that really is not true, the coop size is a limiting factor, and with the winter, free range does not help that much, because they are roosted up in the long dark nights.

    Mrs K
     
  3. MtnHarmony

    MtnHarmony New Egg

    6
    0
    7
    Apr 25, 2016
    We like to keep special rain boots or crocs to help keep the poo to a minimum in our house, etc. Hands will get dirty but you can also teach them, over time. But we also have a fenced area just for the chickens that is not a children's play area. I would think mixing the 2 could cause issues, esp. if you have a rooster. My 3 yr old loves her chickens and knows we take our shoe off outside, then come in and wash our hands. It's been over a year since we got our first chickens and we haven't have any issues with sickness (but it has been stressful at times as my child was 2 when we started this little experiment! :) )
     
  4. jennyf

    jennyf Chillin' With My Peeps

    429
    99
    111
    Apr 24, 2016
    Missouri
    No roosters and no plans to, thank goodness! [​IMG] We have six pullets that are doing great in "their" part of the yard where the kids don't go. But next year I'd like to try to raise a few meat birds and doesn't seem feasible unless I hand over more of the yard... More yard for chickens means less for kids, ya know! I'm glad to know I'm not the only one who worries about this. Part of the reason we've embarked on this great chicken adventure is because the kids enjoy it so much--getting salmonella would really defeat the purpose.
     
  5. Mrs. K

    Mrs. K Overrun With Chickens

    4,838
    1,512
    366
    Nov 12, 2009
    western South Dakota
    I think you are wise in keeping them in two different places. There is quite a difference in going to visit the chickens, and playing in among them all day long.
     
  6. MtnHarmony

    MtnHarmony New Egg

    6
    0
    7
    Apr 25, 2016
    We can't have certain animals due to allergies so the chickens seemed like a dual purpose -food and pet, but we started with rescue chickens when all we went for was chicken poop and somehow my spouse ended up rescuing a few that the chicken company left behind. So, it wasn't planned but my children love our chickens! I would love the fence the whole yard or make a run to the garden so they have more room but they have as much as most people in small subdivisions, but I definitely think keeping them separate is smart, esp. with younger children. My 12 yr old loves the chickens too and the cockerel doesn't try to attack him but he has run up on my 3 yr old. He hasn't attacked but his hormones are definitely kicking in My child is always wanting more birds too and is always begging for ducks and baby chickens. She is our animal lover and would stay with them all day if I let her - but she is also one to touch her face non stop, so I use to keep a bottle of hand sanitize out there. Now I have a hose so I can at least spray her hands to help minimize any issues. I know some folks who let their kids mix and mingle, in the coop, etc. But for us I try to steer her away from poop and teach her that we don't play in certain areas and that animals are cute, but they need space too. They aren't toys you can just keep with you and treat however you want either.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by