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The Truth About Keeping Chickens At Home

By Tom Seest

Are Backyard Chickens Dangerous to Your Health?

At BackyardChickenNews, we help people who want to raise backyard chickens by collating information and news blended with our own personal experiences.

Chickens can be a source of bacteria and illness, and food safety journalists often write about outbreaks at big poultry producers. But bacteria from chickens can also make their way into your backyard. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported 219 illnesses related to backyard poultry in 2022. Of those, 12 percent were hospitalized and one person died from an infection caused by salmonella.

Are Backyard Chickens Dangerous to Your Health?

Are Backyard Chickens Dangerous to Your Health?

Is Your Flock a Health Risk?

The CDC issued a salmonella outbreak warning late last week, warning people to be cautious when handling poultry. More than two hundred people have been reported sick with the infection in 38 states. Infections from backyard poultry can cause severe illness, especially in people with weak immune systems and those under five years old. Although there is no specific treatment for salmonella, symptoms can be noticeable between eight and 72 hours after contact with infected birds. According to the CDC, most people will recover within four to seven days, but if you are seriously ill, you should contact your healthcare provider.
People who get infected with salmonella usually experience diarrhea for six to seven days after the infection. Although the symptoms are typically mild, it is important to note that some people can experience more serious illnesses. For instance, some strains of salmonella can cause joint pain for months or even reactive arthritis. Although most people recover without medical treatment, it is best to check with your doctor before you start raising backyard chickens.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, salmonella infections from backyard poultry are now a growing problem. There have been several outbreaks this year. Since June 24, there have been two hundred and eighty new cases. Infected people have been hospitalized in 38 states, and one person has even died from the infection. The outbreaks are seasonal, with most occurring in spring.
Salmonella is a common germ in poultry. It spreads in the environment where poultry live, making it easy for humans to get sick by touching contaminated surfaces or touching infected chickens. When a person gets infected with Salmonella, they experience diarrhea, fever, and stomach cramps. Fortunately, most people recover in four to seven days without medication.

Is Your Flock a Health Risk?

Is Your Flock a Health Risk?

Are Backyard Chickens Spreading Campylobacter?

Campylobacter is a bacteria that causes a variety of problems. It usually affects young children, elderly people, and people with other serious illnesses. The bacteria can cause fever, vomiting, diarrhea, and muscle pain. In some cases, it can even lead to Guillain-Barre syndrome, which causes temporary paralysis and requires hospitalization. The best way to prevent this condition is to cook your chicken thoroughly and wash your hands after handling raw poultry.
Children may acquire the infection through contact with infected backyard poultry. To prevent the transmission of this zoonotic disease, good biosecurity must be practiced. Raising awareness about this potentially dangerous disease can help to reduce the incidence of infection among children. In addition, the study suggests that more research is needed to determine the best way to prevent Campylobacter infection in backyard poultry.
While most people don’t contract Campylobacter directly from chickens, they can become infected with it through their handling and contact with their droppings. The bacteria can also spread to other objects, such as plants and soil. This can make it very easy for humans to get infected with Campylobacter and Salmonella. This is particularly dangerous for young children, who have not yet developed their immune systems.
Backyard poultry should be kept out of the reach of pregnant women, who should avoid touching them. In addition, chickens should be kept away from the homes of elderly and neonates to avoid the risk of infection. Finally, chicken owners should also be aware of chlamydia psittaci, a bacteria found mostly in birds. It causes pneumonia and can be passed on to humans.
If you get bitten by one of your backyard chickens, seek medical attention immediately. If the chicken looks or acts sick, or if the wound is deep and bleeds excessively, it is important to get treated as soon as possible. Even if you have had the chickens before, it’s still important to keep them away from young children, because they can spread harmful bacteria.

Are Backyard Chickens Spreading Campylobacter?

Are Backyard Chickens Spreading Campylobacter?

Is Your Backyard Flock a Health Hazard?

Yersinia pseudotuberculosis, is a bacterial infection caused by Yersinia spp. It is usually passed to humans through contaminated food and water, or through contact with contaminated animals. In humans, the bacteria are usually transmitted from pigs. People generally develop symptoms about three to seven days after infection. In older adults, symptoms can resemble those of appendicitis. Symptoms can persist for two to three weeks after infection, especially after diarrhea. In addition, the bacteria can be shed in feces for up to three months.
The Yp species is a gram-negative bacterium. It replicates at temperatures as low as 4oC. The bacteria has six serotypes, with serotype 1 being the most common type found in birds. Infections with this bacterium are typically seasonal, occurring during cold winter months when rodents are more active. Symptoms include lethargy and fecal discharge. Yp can be difficult to isolate. However, refrigerator enrichment for two weeks can improve isolation results.
In Europe, the wild boar population has grown considerably. This has increased the risk of food-borne disease transmission, especially through contact with livestock. However, the number of reported cases has decreased since 2007. Yersinia spp. is a bacterium that is found in a wide range of animals, including livestock. Wild boars, in particular, can transmit the bacterium to humans.
In this study, the outbreak isolates of Y. pseudotuberculosis were isolated from wild boar, backyard chickens, and backyard hens. The isolates were cultured in CIN agar for identification. Those that formed typical “bull’s eye” colonies were identified using a Maldi Biotyper instrument and Bruker MBT Compass software version 4.1.100. The Bruker MBT Compass database contains 8468 entries and the Finnish Food Authority has included Y. similis, Y. pseudotuberculosus, and Y. pestis in the same database.

Is Your Backyard Flock a Health Hazard?

Is Your Backyard Flock a Health Hazard?

How Safe Are Your Eggs?

The proximity of backyard poultry to humans can be an important factor for the transmission of pathogens. One example is the bacterium Escherichia coli. Backyard poultry may be exposed to several different strains. Moreover, these strains may also be co-colonized with humans and livestock. The risk of infection by this bacterium from backyard chickens is therefore high.
There are many precautions that can be taken to prevent this disease. Using antibiotics is one way of controlling the infection and the spread of the bacterium. However, certain antibiotics are not approved for use in food animals and should not be given to backyard poultry. In addition, poultry should be vaccinated, kept in clean environments, and properly cared for.
One study found that the number of antibiotic-resistant Enterobacteriaceae in commercial broilers was significantly higher than in backyard chickens. The resulting strains were more resistant to eight out of nine antibiotics tested, including gentamicin, ciprofloxacin, and norfloxacin. The researchers also noted that backyard chickens did not show any multidrug-resistant organisms. The results suggest that backyard chickens should be treated with strict biocides and non-judicial antibiotics.
In commercial chicken farming, poultry feed is transformed into meat in just a few weeks. This is a highly intensive process that requires a lot of attention and medication to prevent diseases. Backyard chicken farming, however, is considered to be safer for consumers because the poultry is not exposed to synthetic adulteration or direct antibiotic administration. The study will help formulate more effective practices for poultry farming.

How Safe Are Your Eggs?

How Safe Are Your Eggs?

How Safe Are Your Backyard Chickens?

According to the CDC, Yersinia enterica from chickens can make you sick. It is important to know that this type of bacteria is present in most poultry, and you should wash your hands after touching chickens or other poultry. Since February, 212 people have contracted salmonella after handling chickens or other poultry, making this the 10th outbreak related to poultry in the last year.
Backyard chickens can harbor bacteria that can make you sick, causing diarrhea, abdominal pain, and cramping. In severe cases, the bacteria can cause potentially life-threatening infections. In one study, researchers from Finland swabbed the bottoms of 457 chickens and their human owners’ boot socks. The researchers found that the majority of chicken owners had Campylobacter jejuni or Listeria monocytogenes on their boots.
Chickens can also carry other bacterial and protozoan infections, including Eimeria, which is responsible for coccidiosis. The parasite infects the ceca and intestines, causing extensive damage to the intestinal mucosa. It can also cause liver damage and right-sided heart failure.
Although the CDC continues to investigate outbreaks of Yersinia enterica linked to backyard poultry, outbreaks of this bacteria have occurred in at least 41 states. It is important to note that backyard chickens can carry the bacteria, even if they look healthy and show no signs of illness. CDC recommends that children should not handle chickens, and adults should wash their hands thoroughly after touching backyard chickens.
Backyard chickens can also carry Salmonella. Most chicks recover from this infection within a few days, although some will continue to carry the bacteria until they reach adulthood or begin egg-laying. Adult chickens may also carry the bacteria, but they will usually clear it up after a week or two.

How Safe Are Your Backyard Chickens?

How Safe Are Your Backyard Chickens?

Be sure to read our other related stories at BackyardChickenNews to learn more about raising chickens in your backyard.


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