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Ok to have chickens with a mom with CF?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by nrrdgrrl, Oct 7, 2015.

  1. nrrdgrrl

    nrrdgrrl New Egg

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    Sorry, I'm new to this, so I was unsure where to ask this...

    So I have recently caught "chicken fever" and now really want some after spending hours researching it. The only thing that really might stand in my way is...my mom.

    Now, I am NOT some teen who wants to take on something that my parents would end up being responsible for. Nor am I a 30 year old living in my parents' basement. I have a family of my own and we live in our own house. So why would my mom object? Or have any grounds to object?

    Well, she has a genetic disease called cystic fibrosis that mostly affects the lungs and had a lung transplant several years ago so she has a weakened immune system. I believe she thinks all birds equate to disease because years ago (before I was born) she cleaned the deck of bird poo after a flock of wild birds swarmed through town and caught turbuculosis Avium mycobacterium which ended up eating a hole through her lung. So I don't blame her for thinking that.

    When I told my mom about getting some chickens, she tried to throw all of the typical concerns at me. But because I had done my research and visited someone who had chickens in my area, I was able to rebuttal most of them. The best part was this: "But chickens are noisy!" "Most chickens that I have seen aren't. Roosters are noisy and I'm not going to have roosters." "Well you need a rooster to get eggs!" "Really? Please rethink what you just said..."

    Anyhow, her real concern goes back to disease. She does babysit my two young kids about one day a week and visits about one other day a week, so she comes over to our house often enough. So my question is, should she really be concerned? I plan to put the coop on the side of house that doesn't get used now and we don't open the windows either. I was thinking about allowing the chickens to free range in our back yard while we were home, but I could just keep them on the side yard (it would plenty of space for a few chickens) if having bird poo in our lawn would mean she couldn't go outside with her grandkids. My feelings are that she really has no more risk than being exposed to wild birds especially since she won't be touching them or cleaning up after them.

    Does anyone else have some insights?
     
  2. Cack-a-doodle

    Cack-a-doodle Out Of The Brooder

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    I have a cousin and aunt that have the same disease or something like that but they keep different types of parrots they handle and the didn't suffer anything except once long tome ago she even handles my chickens with out a care
     
  3. Cack-a-doodle

    Cack-a-doodle Out Of The Brooder

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    Sorry for wrong spelling and grammer I hate my ipad
     
  4. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted

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    [​IMG]

    I don't have CF, but I did have leukemia. I underwent a stem cell transplant in Feb of this year and am still on immune suppressant medications.

    My doctors advised me to not have contact with my birds for the first 6 months after transplant, too risky. Well, I'm not an absolutely compliant patient [​IMG]. I did have some transplant-related lung issues in June and was freaked out I had contracted something from the birds. I underwent bronchoscopy and they did cultures for pretty much everything. Cultures all negative, no fungal infections or anything else that could have come from the birds, my issues were declared viral. Anyway....I've had some good talks with some very, very smart doctors about my exposure from the birds. I do limit my time in the enclosed coop, due to dust and dander. Our new pens we built are more of an open-air type (hoop coops) so there's very little risk to me spending time with the birds. Spending time in an open run is okay.

    Since she's not going to be going in the coop or actually handling the birds, I can't see that she's at risk. To start with, I'd probably say keep the birds confined to the side yard and see how things go. You may decide chicken poop on the lawn isn't your ideal, either, or you may want flower or garden beds.

    If she's truly concerned about risks to her health, she should discuss with her doctor and get their input. I'm pretty sure they'd say "don't go in the coop or handle the chickens or breathe in their poop and you'll be fine".

    Brooding chicks is something you'll have to think about, if you go the chick route. Seems most backyarders want to brood in the house, and that could give her issues. Chicks in the house are a recipe for dust and dander. Even before I got sick I couldn't stomach the thought of breathing all that nasty [​IMG]. So, you'll either want to have a place to brood outside, or go with older birds that don't need a heat source still.
     
  5. nrrdgrrl

    nrrdgrrl New Egg

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    Oct 6, 2015
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    Thanks for both of your input! I did ask my mom to ask her doctors, I'm just afraid they may be overly cautious. She has started doing other "risky" behaviors such as going to an occasional movie in the theatres and has even been on a couple of cruises in the last few years. I think even babysitting my 1 year old and 4 year old isn't regarded as "safe!" I am interested to see what they have to say though, but it may be awhile before I hear about it since her appointments are every 3 months.

    I think what I am planning on for a brooder is to use a wire dog kennel and box it up around the sides and put the whole thing in my garage. I just have to clear out space in there first! And I won't have to worry about dust there since there's plenty if it, haha! When I first thought of this, I was concerned about it getting too cold at night, but we don't get terribly cold temperatures here during springtime and the chickens should be in their coop by the time it would get hot in the garage.
     
  6. trudyg

    trudyg Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I think biosecurity is the answer to your question. In the hospital, they are extremely secure with some patients, less so with others, and yet others have none at all. Start out with biosecurity in mind--all dust, dander, excrement, etc is confined to one space and she is protected. (I know you can't control the wind, but you can create distance between the chickens and the house). I think she would enjoy the entertainment--from her side of the window.
     
  7. nrrdgrrl

    nrrdgrrl New Egg

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    Oct 6, 2015
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    I also found this guide from the CDC: http://www.cdc.gov/healthypets/specific-groups/organ-transplant-patients.html. It states birds are fine to keep as pets and it's even ok for transplant recipients to clean the poo as long as they wear gloves. It also said it was good to avoid chicks and ducklings.

    I will have to show her and see what she says. I spoke with my sister about my moms concerns and she said my mom brought up Avian Flu. I asked my sister, "Well, can *you* catch the Avian Flu?" I think she then realized that it wasn't really a concern.
     
  8. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Chicken Obsessed

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    It sounds like you've thought this through well, and done a lot of homework. Bottom line is: she's anxious about her perceived risk. She needs to talk to her doctors. Wild birds pose just as much risk as chickens would, which IMO is negligible. BTW, hens can be just as noisy as roosters! Some hens LOVE to sing about their eggs. And they will sing LONG and LOUD.

    There are plenty of pathogens to be had in all of those public places, as well as others. Grocery store, or for that matter, any public building. Public rest rooms: ever watched to see how many people go potty, and then leave without visiting the sink? I won't touch a public rest room door knob with my bare hands... EVER!!! Children: often serve up liberal doses of snot spray! But, as far as brooding chicks, even in your garage... I'd re-think that one, especially if your garage is attached to the house. OR, if your car will be in the garage while you're brooding chicks there. It's not just dust that they produce. They shed a lot of dander. It's like a fine oily silt that covers everything. I strongly urge you to get your coop completely set up this winter. Then, if you have electricity available to the coop, you could brood your chicks there. Check out this article: https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/yes-you-certainly-can-brood-chicks-outdoors

    As far as Avian Flu, you might want to do some research there as well. While there is some national concern, and some large scale factory farm flocks have been infected and therefore destroyed, the likelihood of it infecting a back yard flock is negligible. The bigger concern is exposure to migratory water fowl. I'm guessing that your mom won't be going duck hunting any time soon??? I like to play devil's advocate on this issue by raising the question: If Avian Flu is supposedly carried by migratory water fowl, and it also seems to be randomly infecting large indoor factory farm poultry flocks, how are these ducks getting past the heavy biosecurity on these farms? I say this, tongue in cheek, but it does make me wonder where "they" come up with these ideas!!!
     
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2015
  9. trudyg

    trudyg Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I say this, tongue in cheek, but it does make me wonder where "they" come up with these ideas!!!

    THEY aren't really concerned for safety, they just want to control us. What farmer in his right mind would keep a sick bird in with the entire flock? Not many. Did you know that fema has started requiring farms to give them a list of what equipment they have and what they grow--just in case we have a natural disaster. For why?
     
  10. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Chicken Obsessed

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    For this very reason, I won't become NPIP certified.
     

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