Petting Zoo. Questions on silkies.


10 Years
Mar 8, 2009
Southern Illinois
So I was voted to bring the petting zoo animals for a local 4-h group's family fun fair on tuesday.

I think my silkies would be loved by the kids, but I was wondering.

Do you think my birds would be okay for 2 hours in the shade. Would the noise and stress be harmful to them? I spent a lot of money on these silkies, and I would hate for them to die on me or something because they freaked at a fair.

They are like 2 months old.

I would probably bring like three of them, and keep them in a cage. Then hold one and let the kids pet it, switching them out every 15 minutes or so, so none of them would be bugged all day.

Would this be okay for my babies. I would love to bring them, but I don't want to cause health risks.
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I think the health risks would be to the children after petting the silkies, they would absolutely need to wash their hands afterwards.
Two months old is pretty young, but I guess it depends on the temperament of your birds. I have silkies who would be ok with it and some that would freak out completely. Is there a way you could bring them to be looked at, but have some other kind of animal for them to touch?
Yes. Hand sanitizer will be everywhere. Although I'm pretty sure my birds aren't carrying any dieases.

I am also bringing some goats, and mini donkey. I just thought silkies would be a fun addition.

I will probably just put a silkie or two and my frizzle in a cage to be looked at. And see how it goes. If my little friendly silkies are being good, maybe I will let a few kids pet the,.
I would worry more about the kids bringing diseases to the silkies than the other way around. Most fairs now provide a hand washing station with big signs reminding the parents to have the kids wash their hands. Then there are always the brats that insist on grabbing, poking and screaming at animals. Of course, their parents see nothing wrong with their behaviour. Our fair keeps the "petting zoo" chickens behind chicken wire so the kids can observe but not touch. The goats, however, are at the mercy of the unwashed masses and their unruly children.
I agree w/ what horsejody says; the issue is more about what kids & their parents will bring to YOUR babies, then you'd bring home to the rest of the flock. Hand sanitizer, shoe wipes or walk-through tray, especially when coming INTO your area at the very least.
Haha yes. That was my original worry. I LOVE my new silkies, not to mention the price. So I would be devastated if some little stinken kid brings some nasty germ to my babies.

I KNOW for a fact that they will not have foot wipes, and stuff like that at this place. And I know I would not be able to enforce that every kid is clean before touching my birds.

But my animals will be in gates, enclosed so the kids will only be able to pet them through the bars. I think Perhaps I will just locate a cage in the middle, so they can look and not touch.

Or maybe I will just skip the birds all together. Yeah. That sounds like an even better plan. I just know some people would love to look at them. Gah. I can't decide.

Haha. My goats don't mind. As my house has probably the most animals at it in my area. Many people like to just 'drop by' and check out the animals. Hmm.

The goats I won't really worry about to much. They are pretty hardy. It's my little fragile chickens I worry about.
It sounds to me as if you're concerned enough that you should probably forego the petting zoo this year. Next year your birds will be older, and you will be more confident in their heartiness (or lack), and better able to predict and prevent any likely repercussions to your birds.

If you take them now, you will have a difficult time forgiving yourself if something happens, and you don't have the experience to determine if it really was the petting zoo or something else.
I agree with Sonoran. Kids are so curious and could cause injury very easily. They will be older next season. (Don't let anything happen to my grandchicks! LOL)

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