PUEBLO COUNTY – As we start to head outside this spring, it’s important to stay healthy while caring for backyard chicks and duckling flocks.
“Live poultry, such as chickens, ducks, geese and turkeys, can carry harmful germs including Salmonella and Campylobacter,” explained Jody Carrillo, division director at the Pueblo Department of Public Health and Environment.
Salmonella and Campylobacter are oftentimes found in poultry droppings also in cages, coops, hay and soil where they roam.
“These germs generally do not make the birds sick, but they can make people very ill,” said Carrillo.
To protect yourself:
- Always wash hands thoroughly with soap and water after caring for birds or after touching anything in an area where poultry live or roam. Use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available.
- Prohibit children younger than five years old from touching poultry. Supervise hand washing for all children to make sure hands are washed correctly.
- Do not let anyone kiss/snuggle with the birds.
- Restrict anyone from eating and drinking where birds live or roam.
- Keep live poultry outside of the home.
- Set aside a pair of shoes to wear while taking care of poultry and keep those shoes outside of the house.
- Clean all equipment that birds use (cages, food or water dishes, etc.) outdoors.
- Use a bottle of dish soap and a commercial disinfectant, dedicated to this purpose, for cleaning poultry enclosures and equipment.
People who become sick may experience diarrhea, vomiting, fever and stomach cramps.
For additional information visit www.cdc.gov/healthypets/pets/farm-animals/backyard-poultry.html.