The CDC is asking us again… To please stop kissing our chickens! They say our flocks of backyard chickens are causing an increase in salmonella outbreaks associated with live poultry. How do they know? They did a 25-year study and found that some people affected were engaging in risky behaviors – including cuddling and kissing their chickens… and, in some cases, letting their chickens roam in their bedrooms and bathrooms. And in most cases, the salmonella infections were due to baby poultry – which, I guess, are hard to resist kissing and cuddling… because, of the cases studied…
50 percent reported cuddling with baby poultry.
46 percent reported letting them freely roam around their living rooms, kitchens, bedrooms and bathrooms.
And 13 percent reported kissing baby chicks.
The CDC says they’re seeing a marked trend in the way people are treating live poultry. They’re no longer “production animals” – meaning kept solely for their eggs or meat… they’re now considered household pets. And they’re enjoying the same lifestyle as our cats and dogs.
But both the CDC and The Humane Society say, although it’s lovely that people are making sure their pet poultry is well cared for – they should never be household pets. They should be kept outside or in a specific enclosure, not shared with human family members. Because, even if your backyard chickens, ducks or turkeys look clean, they still carry bacteria and sporadically shed salmonella. So after you pet and care for your poultry pets – wash your hands thoroughly, and don’t kiss them.