Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by mpoland33, May 21, 2016.

  1. mpoland33

    mpoland33 Chillin' With My Peeps

    This probably isn't in the right section but it didn't quite fit anywhere.

    We are in the research stage and my wife is concerned about diseases or illnesses spreading from the hens to our 3 yr old and 1 yr year old.

    Besides cleaning hands after touching, what should I do and what should I be aware of?

    Any tips would be helpful!
  2. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

    Sep 19, 2009
    Holts Summit, Missouri
    Physical altercations involving some adult roosters (not all pose such a risk) and broody hens would be biggest concern. My kids just a year ahead of yours both took their licks from broody hens. Elder child never got the point while younger has learned to be more careful when trying to snatch chicks. Try not to over react if altercation occurs as that can cause more psychological damage than the actual altercation.
  3. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Flock Master Premium Member

    Mar 15, 2010
    On the MN prairie.
    Good handwashing after handling chicks is a good thing. I can't think of anything else, really. Kids have been raised near chickens and exposed to chicken poop for centuries without any ill effects.
  4. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

    Sep 19, 2009
    Holts Summit, Missouri
    I have never had a disease attributed to my own chickens. I have suffered food poisoning by eating under-cooked chicken at a restaurant.
    1 person likes this.
  5. Spartan22

    Spartan22 Overrun With Chickens

    Sep 2, 2014
    Canton, Ohio
    E. coli & salmonella can be avoided by proper hygiene practices. Washing and sanitizing hands after handling poultry or being near the coop/run will help reduce unnecessary contamination or sickness. We don't free range to prevent tracking animal droppings inside our house until we have our dream 10 acre property.
    Chicken generate a lot of dust so it's not good to have them inside the house, we clean droppings from the coop every morning (takes less than 5 min) to prevent build up that can be tracked inside their nests therefore protecting eggs from getting dirty (we don't wash our eggs)
    We wear disposable gloves when we go in the coop and run. We have 3 kids and they all Iove to pet and handle our chickens but we don't let them get away without supervision and without washing their hands after. So far prevention works and we enjoy our chicken keeping & fresh eggs.


    Last edited: May 22, 2016
  6. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon
    The most important thing is don't let the kiddos kiss the chicks.


    The CDC says this is how most salmonella is transmitted from chickens to humans.

    So no kissin'.

    As is just not letting the chicks near the little's faces. Chickens are driven to peck at things to see if they're good to eat. Shiny things especially. Eyes are shiny, as are lips and tongues. Chick aren't puppies that like to lick faces, they like to peck faces.

    Appropriate hand washing is good also. But no need to sanitize after each little encounter with the birds.

    If you've not done so, google the hygiene hypothesis. The gist is, we make ourselves sick by being too clean.
    1 person likes this.
  7. Daisy8s

    Daisy8s Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 12, 2011
    Central Michigan
    Invest in a pair of easy slip on/off rubber boots to be your barn shoes. The big rubber "wellington" style boots aren't form fitting and one pair will fit most adults. Use these each time you're in the coop and then leave them on a porch so you're not tracking poo into the house.

    We do the deep litter method so we only clean our coop once a year. The dust build up is serious by that point so anyone cleaning the coop has to wear a dust mask (inhaling fine particles of chicken manure just isn't good for anyone regardless of specific illness).

    Just as good fences make good neighbors, good fencing keeping kids away from roosters/broody hens until they're old enough to understand how to behave. Just as previous posters said, don't let kids handle chickens that could peck at an eye and, seriously, nobody should ever kiss any chicken, ever. That's just gross.

    We've raised three kids and had dozens of their friends at our house. Other than the precautions above, you don't need to do anything special.

    (disposable gloves is total overkill)
  8. HnkyDnkyZZFarm

    HnkyDnkyZZFarm Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 2, 2016
    Northern California
    My daughter (7) is a farm girl, so she's been handling chickens and has even been responsible for feeding and watering the brooder chicks for at least the last two years. This year she did the primary socializing for the six new ones we're getting ready to turn loose into the main flock.

    The biggest problem we've run into is allergies when they're fledging, all that fluff coming off is an allergy nightmare, but chicken diseases are largely chicken diseases and human diseases are human diseases. Once the chicks are outdoors, the allergies clear and next year I hope to have my outdoor work space set up with electricity/water so I'll be able to brood outdoors rather than in the laundry room indoors, which will be better for all involved.

    Short of not eating around them and practicing basic sanitation, we always wash hands after handling any of the animals/birds, there's not much that wants to munch your chickens (feather lice f'ex don't want humans. We don't have feathers to eat, so we are an inhospitable host) don't want to munch on humans. If your birds get parasites - and it happens, they can come in with wild birds coming to eat the chickens food and leaving gifties, they are bird/feather specific.

    We don't kiss on our chickens, or really even encourage picking them up unless we're socializing them as chicks or checking feathers/vents/feet/etc. We handle them/ hand feed often, but they really seem to prefer being left to do chicken things. Kids tend to drop them if they flap and I feel like the birds are more likely to be hurt by a kid freak out than the kids being hurt by the birds.

    We don't currently keep roosters, but in the past, the roosters have made it clear that they are not here to be hugged and my daughter has respected that. Mostly, she got a good pinch on the backside once and came to the conclusion on her own that the hens are nicer.

    She dropped a duck flat on it's butt once, and after that I encouraged her to let everyone keep their feet on the ground after that. Our ducks fly like bricks. Straight down.
  9. mpoland33

    mpoland33 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Thanks so much for everyone's responses. I've been out of town a bit so this was good to read up on when I got back. The boots are a great idea for sure. We're setting up a little station behind the house for sanitizing. Definitely want them washing their hands

    Thanks again!
  10. mossyroo

    mossyroo Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 23, 2014
    Mossy Head, FL

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