web analytics

Tag Archive | "chicks"

Parents: spring chicks may carry Salmonella


HEA-Spring-chicks

Health officials at the Michigan Departments of Agriculture and Rural Development and Community Health warn parents that the baby poultry found in feed and pet stores in the spring may carry Salmonella, a common bacterial illness found in the droppings of poultry that can cause illness in people.

“Raising birds can be a great experience, but children need to be supervised and wash their hands after handling chicks and other poultry,” said State Veterinarian Dr. James Averill. “Even birds that appear healthy can carry bacteria that will make people sick.”

“Live poultry, especially baby poultry, can carry Salmonella germs, so it’s important to not keep them in the house and to wash your hands immediately after touching poultry or anything in the area where they live or roam,” said Dr. Matthew Davis, Chief Medical Executive with the Michigan Department of Community Health. “Treating poultry like you would a pet increases the risk for Salmonella infection in a household.”

Salmonella can make people sick with diarrhea, vomiting, fever and/or abdominal cramps lasting 4-7 days or more. People should always assume baby chicks carry Salmonella and should follow these recommendations to protect themselves and others:

Children younger than five-years-of-age, older adults, or people with weak immune systems should not handle or touch chicks, ducklings, or other live poultry because they are more likely to become severely ill.

Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water after touching live poultry or anything in the area where they live and roam. Adults should supervise hand washing for young children.

Use hand sanitizer until you can wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water.

Chicks should have a heat lamp and should be kept in a barn or garage, in a draft-free cage that keeps predators out.

Always keep poultry away from areas where food or drink is prepared, served, or stored, such as kitchens, or outdoor patios.

Do not kiss the chicks.

Do not touch your mouth, smoke, eat, or drink after handling live poultry.

Clean all equipment such as cages, feed, water containers and other materials associated with raising or caring for live poultry outside the house.

For more information, visit: http://www.cdc.gov/salmonella/live-poultry-04-13/advice-consumers.html

 

Posted in HealthComments Off

Bunnies, chicks grow into rabbits and chickens


Think twice about giving them to children for Easter

Spring is approaching, and many parents are shopping for Easter gifts for their little ones.  Some will shop for baby bunnies and little chicks to give as gifts. There are several responsibilities that come with these animals, as they will grow into adults. Rabbits can live 7 to 10 years, while chickens can live into their teens.  The Kent County Health Department encourages adults to consider the longevity, as well as health and safety issues, if giving bunnies or chicks to children for Easter.

“After the Easter holiday is over, the Kent County Animal Shelter receives dozens of unwanted domesticated rabbits and several chickens,” according to Adam London, acting Health Officer for the Kent County Health Department. “Adults need to recognize that adopting or buying these cute little pets typically means a long-term commitment.” Pet rabbits have specific dietary needs and must live indoors.  They can learn to be very social pets with routine handling and care.

Raising chicks and other poultry has become popular, but it has also led to an increase in Salmonella outbreaks in humans. Last year, there were eight outbreaks connected to live poultry in the U.S.  Salmonella is common in baby poultry, and spreads from contact with the birds or their environments. Birds with Salmonella may appear healthy, but in humans, the bacteria can cause diarrhea, stomach cramping, fever and dehydration. Illness can last for up to a week, and can be serious in young children, older adults or those with weakened immune systems.

“If you handle a chick, be sure to wash your hands thoroughly when finished,” London says. “Don’t let children under the age of five handle chicks, or let kids snuggle or kiss chicks.” The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has more information:

http://www.cdc.gov/media/dpk/2013/dpk-live-poultry-salmonella.html.

The Kent County Health Department suggests giving children toy stuffed animals this Easter.  Also, if giving or receiving plants for the holiday, make sure they stay out of the reach of any pets.  Some items, such as lilies, can be toxic to pets.

For a list, check out:  http://www.aspca.org/Pet-care/poison-control/Plants.

Posted in Easter, NewsComments Off