Raising chicks and handwashing

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by laurelmtnlover, Jun 1, 2010.

  1. laurelmtnlover

    laurelmtnlover Out Of The Brooder

    May 22, 2010
    Greetings to all you friendly chicken luvvers! We just got our first 25 Delawares.....of course got a few more than what we had planned on, but everything is working out well. They are about 3 weeks old, are going outside in the day, no heat lamp in the rehabbed shed=coop now, insulated, and have their separated area about 3 ft by 6 ft. They are doing really well! We don't have running water there and have to "visit them" at this time. They are in a pretty (I hope) predator proof ventilated coop. $0 to rehab. Any way, we have a bucket of water for handwashing afterward. I'm a nurse and I'm really paranoid about it, but how far do you all go? My friend and I have both suffered some gastric upsets in the last week. (holiday picnic food or chicks?) I know the old time farmers probably werent as concientious about handwashing as I am, but I'm afraid to answer my cell while working with them, etc. Am I going to far?

    How about children? How do all you moms and dads "handle" this issue?
  2. KellyHM

    KellyHM Overrun With Chickens

    Sep 10, 2008
    Lakeland, FL
    I think you're a little too worried (unless you're immune compromised). I wash my hands when I come in from doing my chores, but I don't hesitate to answer the phone or run in the house to get something in the middle of handling them. Really the only thing you have to worry about at all is coccidia and that's mostly only if you're immune compromised. Plus it's everywhere in the environment, so you really can't avoid it completely.
  3. TurkeyMountainChickens

    TurkeyMountainChickens Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 3, 2009
    Central Virginia
    First, [​IMG]

    And yes - I think you're being a bit paranoid. I know you're a nurse - but I'm a microbiologist!

    I DO wash my hands when a chick poos on me. And a I did talk my daughter (then 2) out of building "sand" castles with the chicken litter (and I made her wash her hands).

    But for the most past, I don't worry about it. Exposure to soil and animals is generally very healthy for the immune system. Farm kids on average are much healthier, and have much lower rates of allergies and asthma than city kids. Don't know how much of it is due to chickens, though!

    Enjoy your chicks, and let the kids play. Go ahead and answer your phone, too. [​IMG]

    Edited to note: I can tell you that bacterial counts in many picnic foods are extremely high - esp. foods with mayo. But, anything moist left at room temp is a potential source for your gastritis!
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2010
  4. azmotogirl

    azmotogirl Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 30, 2010
    Mesa, AZ
    We keep Purell close by to use as a quick clean up until we can get a good hand-washing done.
  5. fastpat

    fastpat Chillin' With My Peeps

    Quote:I'm an RN and do wash my hands any time I handle the chicks because they're a lot more fecally contaminated than either my cats or dogs and I wash my hands before handling any food after touching them too.

    I worked in the Operating Room for my entire career, no need for that level of cleanliness, but I'm probably more conscious of the issue than many. Most ordinary colds are passed by dirty hands, not through aerosolized virus, increased hand washing would reduce that too.

    About your coop. If you don't have the wire at least 8 inches below grade, an energetic feral dog, coyote, or Raccoon will dig itself into it and relieve you of your chickens.
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2010
  6. SmartyChick

    SmartyChick An Official Milkmaid

    Oct 19, 2009
    Sullivan County NY
    I always wash my hands after working with the animals, but it is just a habit, not because I am worried about the spread of animals germs. I have never had a problem with sickness due to bacteria from my farm. I fact, since I've started farming, I feel alot healthier. [​IMG]
  7. Princess Lay-a

    Princess Lay-a Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 17, 2010
    Great Falls
    We have kids and they are doing chicken duty as well. I have them wash after they help out (same when they do litter boxes) and I have Purell on hand too. I'm consistent [​IMG] but not fanatical. I have a nail biter and he ended up with a very nasty bout of diarrhea a couple of days ago. He said after his 5 th trip to the bathroom. "I know I didn't wash my hands when I was playing with the chicken, Mom. I bet that's why I got sick [​IMG]."
    Is it? Could be, but even if not I think it's best to teach them the art of staying clean.

    I do have a side question... salmonella? [​IMG] We had a bearded dragon and was told to be very careful about washing afterwards, or at least sanitizing. But I had read about chickens and salmonella. Is that just in less than clean conditions or is that a big concern for any chicken keeper? The kids wanna kiss the chickies so bad, but I said I'd check first in case. They never got to kiss thier lizard.[​IMG] LOL!
  8. ranchhand

    ranchhand Rest in Peace 1956-2011

    Aug 25, 2008
    I wash well when I come in from the chores, but I do not use antibacterial soap.

    I only use antibacterial products after getting a receipt or change back in the store. That's the scary stuff.

    (18 years of raising chickens)
  9. colowyo0809

    colowyo0809 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 27, 2010
    Dacono, CO
    Quote:AMEN! I have worked in retail for the last 10 years or so, three of which were in a gas station, and the kinds of money you see coming through is ridiculous!! Dirty, filthy, disgusting! I made it a habit when I managed the gas station to include those bills in my deposits because the bank takes care of them somehow, and at least that way they were out of the system (I made sure they knew the bills were in the deposit, usually kept them seperated by a plastic baggie [​IMG] ).

    As far as handwashing goes, I generally wash my hands after I'm done doing everything I need to for the birds, and definitly if I get scratched. Worked in health care, and I've seen what "a small scratch" can do. But, I also answer my phone (like today when I got a call while I was in the coop) and take care of whatever else needs to be done. I can tell you right now, as long as I keep these birds healthy and supplement with kelp and probiotic that we will never have a "biosecure" facility. I'm proud of my birds, at whatever age, and heartily endorse people viewing them! [​IMG] Of course, I'm also somewhat of a newbie so what do I know? [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
  10. mychookschick

    mychookschick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 28, 2009
    I agree with all of you! All I do is wash my hands when I am finished with my babies and I have never gotten sick from them!

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