Safety Tips for Handling Poultry By Ms. Keri Collins Lewis Mississippi State Extension Service

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MSU Extension Service

Baby chickens are so cute and cuddly that few people can resist holding them. Unfortunately, as public interest in raising backyard birds has grown so has the number of Salmonella outbreaks in the U.S.

Remember to wash your hands or use hand sanitizer immediately after handling live poultry or eggs, even if it’s only been for a few seconds. The chicks may not be sick but may be carrying germs that can make humans ill.

An illustration depicts a large yellow chick with a graph showing the number of Salmonella outbreaks since 2000 and includes text instructions to wash hands after handling backyard poultry.
Hand washing after handling all animals, but especially chickens, is vitally important to maintaining human health. (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)

And no matter how cute a chick is, don’t kiss it! Be sure to monitor children as they handle live poultry and supervise hand washing afterward.

For more tips on keeping your family and your flock safe, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

If you are interested in starting your own backyard flock, Extension has a lot of information to get you started!

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