Why You Should Stop Kissing Your Chickens…
We all know how hard it is to resist placing a little peck on the head of that cute, sweet little chick that just arrived in the mail. As much as I would love to tell you to keep doing this, I have to recommend that you stop and don’t allow your children to hug or kiss your flock as hard as it may be. Here are some of the reasons we suggest you keep your lips and your kid’s lips off your birds.
First and foremost, the risk of contracting Salmonella poisoning from your Poultry is real. However, the chances of it happening are slim. This bacteria can cause illness in humans if allowed to multiply. Protecting yourself and your family against this bacteria is vital. Some birds do carry Salmonella. It can be found on the shell or inside of the egg when it is laid, as the bacteria is carried in the waste products of your birds. Cleansing your eggs is an excellent way to prevent the spread of bacteria, like Salmonella. Also, make sure to properly refrigerate your eggs and get rid of them if they are more than four days old. For more details about Salmonella, continue reading HERE.
Another reason to stop kissing your chickens is they can carry some parasites, such as worms, lice, and mites. The best way to prevent your flock from becoming infected by these common parasites is to practice good animal husbandry skills. Healthy and active chickens can often eliminate worms from their system on their own. Worming your chickens may be necessary from time to time. To prevent lice and mites, you can use dust or a protective spray. Both are effective at preventing and treating lice and mites in your flock. Click HERE to learn more about the treatment and prevention of Lice and Mites. To find out more about Worming your flock, read our Worming 101 blog post.
Coccidiosis is a common parasite that infects chickens’ digestive tracts and can be deadly to young chicks. While it is uncommon, a human can contract this parasite from contaminated shoes or equipment. Controlling moisture levels, rotating the area your chickens graze and are housed, and if desired, feeding your chickens a medicated feed, are great ways to prevent Coccidiosis in your flock. The only downside to using a medicated feed for your chicks is they will not get the opportunity to build up a natural immunity to the disease and will be more susceptible to contracting it if a non-medicated feed is introduced. Several breeds of chicks that we offer come with the option to have them sprayed for coccidiosis. Cornish Cross Broilers are a prime example of a breed you may want to ask to have them sprayed for Coccidiosis before they are shipped to you. Because Cornish Cross are always looking for food and pecking at everything on the ground looking for a potential treat, they are more likely to contract this parasite than other breeds. If you are interested in seeing if your chicks can receive the Coccidiosis spray, give us a call! Should you suspect your flock has contracted this gastrointestinal bug, we recommend treating it with Corrid powder. Read more about Coccidiosis HERE….
One step that you should be taking to prevent the spread of germs, viruses and bacteria every time you finish caring for or handling your poultry is WASHING YOUR HANDS. Did you just give your favorite chicken, Stella, a quick snuggle? WASH YOUR HANDS. Maybe you just finished collecting your prized rainbow-colored chicken eggs for the day… WASH YOUR HANDS. Just finishing up cleaning your chicken coop out for the second time this week? WASH YOUR HANDS. I can’t stress how important washing your hands or your children’s hands after handling Poultry of any kind really is. It is the easiest and most effective form of prevention. Teaching your kids good hand-washing skills will not only aid in the prevention of diseases coming from your chickens but will keep them healthier in their everyday life.
If you would like more information on preventing the spread of disease in your flock, please feel free to give us a call or contact us HERE at any time. We are happy to answer any questions you may have. Stay safe and remember… STOP KISSING YOUR CHICKENS!
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