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Backyard Poultry Safety

Baby chicksMore people are choosing to raise poultry, such as chickens or ducks, as part of a greener, healthier lifestyle. However, it’s important to consider the risk of illness, especially for children, from handling live poultry or anything in the area where they live and roam.

It’s common for chickens, ducks, and other poultry to carry Salmonella, a type of germ that naturally lives in the intestines of poultry and many other animals. Even organically fed poultry can have Salmonella. While it usually doesn’t make the birds sick, Salmonella can cause serious illness when it is passed to people.

Always wash your hands with soap and water right after touching live poultry or anything in the area where they live and roam. Adults should supervise hand washing for young children. Use hand sanitizer if soap and water are not readily available.





About Karen Blakeslee

The Rapid Response Center was formed in 1995 as a resource for Kansas State University Research & Extension Agents. Resource topics included Food Science, Human Nutrition, Food Service, Textiles, Home Care and other consumer topics. Since that time, the Center has grown to be of valuable assistance to Kansas State University Extension Specialists in those areas.

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