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Risks to Humans

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by ncchick, Dec 3, 2008.

  1. ncchick

    ncchick Hatching

    Dec 3, 2008
    Hi all,

    Newbie here. I am researching chickens and considering getting started with some, since we live 45 miles out of town and it would be convenient and perhaps fun, but being a Public Health minded individual, having worked in the field for years, I have to ask the questions.........and appreciate any feedback and links for more info.

    1. What diseases can humans get from chickens?
    2. What are the risks of Avian Flu being transmitted via our home bred chickens? Isn't the risk greater for us than the general population?
    3. Are you experiencing more flies than you otherwise would?

    BTW I love all the cute pics that have been posted of the chicks , brooders and chickens. I'm getting closer to thinking I may get some chickens for us. :)

    I also appreciate all the helpful information I've seen here. Thanks!

  2. doodledoo

    doodledoo Songster

    Feb 29, 2008
    Cartersville, GA
    Hi and welcome! I don't know the answer about the diseases but I can tell you that chickens love flies and if there is one around they will get it if they can.
  3. ncchick

    ncchick Hatching

    Dec 3, 2008
    Thanks....we have neighbors across the field that have large chicken farms......where they get small chickens that they grow to a larger size inside huge long buildings, then have them trucked out for processing......When they clean out the coops even though we are a couple acres away ( maybe 6-8) we get the downwind of a rather strong bad odor......and on damp days we have a zillion flies . They've promised to give us some of the droppings for sewing into our gardens next spring though.

    So wondered if you get a lot of strong odors and flies from small scale chicken raising. That would be great if the chickens attracted all the flies then ate them though. ;-)
  4. TaLani

    TaLani ~ Gemini Chick ~

    Oct 2, 2008
    Bryson City, NC
  5. welcome to the chicken world!!

    1. What diseases can humans get from chickens?
    2. What are the risks of Avian Flu being transmitted via our home bred chickens? Isn't the risk greater for us than the general population?
    3. Are you experiencing more flies than you otherwise would?

    1. addiction. No I am serious. I just wanted four. I have 12. I can stop any time I want. Ahem. Um...could get an infected scratch i suppose.

    2. No, I don't see how that is an issue in the US...has it hit here? I thought it was still in more migratory than domestic birds. I dunno, I'd have to look that up.

    3. no, in fact, far less. Less mice, and less other pests too.​
  6. rooster-red

    rooster-red Here comes the Rooster

    Jun 10, 2007
    Douglasville GA
    If you clean the coop as you should, there shouldn't be an issue with odor.

    If you live that close to a big poultry operation, you'll never notice the difference.

    I use pine shavings on the floor & in nest boxes and change that out when needed.

    For the run, I was concerned about histoplasmosis, so I till in lime 2-3 times a years and that seems to help.
  7. whatsup chickenbutt

    whatsup chickenbutt Songster

    Sep 9, 2008
    well, I can tell you that humans cant get poultry lice (thank God, though you may get the occasional hitchhiker...yuck) and the birds will often have it and its disgusting, but treatable.
    Yes Im sure my chickens would love to eat the flies who get overly abundant in August and September, but it doesnt seem to matter. There are a lot of flies in their coop at that time. That being said though, it doesnt last long, and I put fly strips up in their coop and clean often to try to combat it. Its really no worse than the amount of extra flies you get with horses. When you have animals, and poop, youre going to have flies.
    As far as the stink, mine really only ever stinks when it gets wet, otherwise, there really isnt any smell at all.

  8. JHaller

    JHaller In the Brooder

    Sep 23, 2008
    Austin TX
    doodledoo is right, a fly in the brooder is one of the more hilarious moments of chicken-raising!

    As for your health concerns, Avian flu hasn't been transmitted to humans on this side of the planet. Poultry can get other strains of flu as well. Apparently, it passes, as do bouts of human illness.

    From the reading I've done, there are experts that expect that backyard flocks are less likely to get avian flu than the factory flocks. Others will argue that backyard flocks will be the carriers that alert us to the arrival of the virus, allowing everyone else to take steps to avoid it. And of course there are those who are sure we're all going to die from something.

    In my opinion, no one really knows for sure. You should get some chickens and enjoy them without fear of avian flu. If you are still fearful, just keep your birds in a sheltered pen where they are not exposed to the droppings of wild birds. Don't put out food or offer birdbaths to wild birds. Limit your flock's exposure to people, as well.

    Avian flu should not be a deal breaker for your new enterprise, just join the fun! If a problem arises, we'll know it quickly and respond appropriately.

    As for the other diseases, simple cleanliness (mostly hand washing) will prevent salmonella poisoning, and such. Your existing sanitation habits plus some common sense will probably be enough.

    My yard and garden have noticeably fewer pill bugs and snails. I wonder if the environment is upset by that? I have no excess flies around my coop and run.

    Go for it.

  9. ChickenTender63

    ChickenTender63 Songster

    Sep 28, 2008
    Alamance, NC
    What part of North Carolina are you from?
  10. NYREDS

    NYREDS Crowing

    Jan 14, 2008
    Quote:1. There is some minor risk of Histoplasmosis & I do mean minor. Also chicken pox if you've never had them but your birds would have to contract them first to give them to you.

    2. There have at this point been no cases of Avian Flu in humans in the US to the best of my knowledge & only a handful of cases worldwide. Lightening strikes are a much bigger risk.

    3. Since I've kept chickens for over 50 years I don't remember how many flies I used to have. [​IMG]

    Hope this is helpful.

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