Wash your hands of it

By Connie Orcutt • Published: September 1st, 2012
Category: Animal Airwaves

More and more people are keeping chickens, ducks or geese in backyard flocks as part of a greener lifestyle. But dangers might tag along with those fresh eggs.

Some birds carry salmonella, and these bacteria can be passed in their droppings. Although salmonella doesn’t usually make birds sick, the bacteria can cause diarrhea, vomiting, cramps and fever in humans and pets. Young children, the elderly and immunosuppressed people are especially at risk. Some infections can even be fatal.

Avoid problems by washing hands well with soap and water after handling birds or anything they contact. Cook all eggs thoroughly before eating them. And the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends keeping children 5 years old or younger away from live poultry.

Enjoy your feathered friends, but remember: hygiene rules the roost.