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Tag Archive | "chicks"

MDHHS reminds parents spring chicks may carry Salmonella


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LANSING, Mich. – Health experts at the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services are warning parents about the potential for baby poultry to carry Salmonella. A common bacteria found in the droppings of poultry, Salmonella can cause illness in people. Salmonella germs contaminate feathers, feet and beaks of birds, as well as cages, coops and the environment where the birds live and roam. “Washing your hands thoroughly before and after handling chicks and other poultry protects both you and your family from the risk of Salmonella, and also helps keep the birds healthy,” said MDHHS Chief Medical Executive Dr. Eden Wells. “Even birds appearing cute, healthy, and clean can carry bacteria that can make people sick.”

In 2016, there were nine nationwide outbreaks of Salmonella illness linked to contact with live poultry, causing illness in 911 people in 48 states. Michigan reported 55 cases, of which almost half (45 percent) were in children.

During spring, live baby poultry are often displayed in stores in a way that children may be able to reach and touch the birds or areas where the birds are contained. This is one way people become exposed to harmful bacteria that leads to illness. People may also obtain birds through the mail by placing an order directly with a hatchery that supplies baby birds to raise for food or as pets.

Salmonella can cause diarrhea, vomiting, fever and/or abdominal cramps lasting four to seven days or more. Salmonella infections can be especially serious for the very young, the very old, and those with weak immune systems.

Baby poultry have special requirements for warmth and protection. Backyard flock owners may not be aware of the risk of Salmonella from baby poultry and consequently, may keep the birds inside their home. Potential poultry owners should plan ahead to provide a proper space that is safe for the birds and for the people in the household. To address this, backyard flock owners should give live poultry their own space to live, outside of the home. People should follow these recommendations to protect themselves and others:

  • Children younger than five years old, older adults or people with weak immune systems should not handle or touch chicks, ducklings or other poultry because they are more likely to become severely ill.
  • Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water after touching the birds or anything in their environment. Adults should supervise hand washing for young children.
  • Use hand sanitizer until you can wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water.
  • 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 put anything to or touch your mouth, eat or drink after handling poultry.
  • Do not keep live poultry inside the house where people live, eat or sleep.
  • Do not give live baby poultry as gifts to young children.

Stay outdoors when cleaning any equipment associated with raising or caring for poultry, such as cages, feed, water containers and other materials.

For more information, visit http://www.cdc.gov/features/salmonellababybirds/.

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This Easter, give toy bunnies, not live ones 


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From the Kent County Health Dept.

Baby bunnies and chicks grow up to be rabbits and chickens. Before you decide live Easter pets would be a cute gift for your kids, be sure you do plenty of homework. Adults should consider the life cycle, as well as health and safety issues, of giving bunnies or chicks to children for Easter. The Kent County Health Department recommends giving children toy stuffed animals instead.

“Those who adopt these pets should be aware of the responsibilities and the health-related concerns that come with these pets—both human and animal health concerns,” according to Adam London, Administrative Health Officer for the Kent County Health Department. “Municipalities may have restrictions on adult

chickens. Be sure you know what the legal or neighborhood association requirements are before you buy chicks.”

Every year, the Kent County Animal Shelter receives dozens of unwanted rabbits from people who can’t care for them. The shelter no longer takes in unwanted or stray chicks or chickens.

Raising chicks and other poultry is popular and can be safe, but in recent years, there has been an increase in Salmonella outbreaks in humans. 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.

Children under the age of five should have adult supervision when handling chicks or chickens. Be sure to wash your hands and your child’s hands thoroughly after handling chicks or chickens. Don’t let children snuggle or kiss chicks. And never allow chicks or chickens into bathrooms, kitchens, or areas where food is

prepared, stored, or eaten. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has more information at http://www.cdc.gov/features/salmonellababybirds/.

Rabbits can live seven to ten years. Pet rabbits have specific health needs, special diets, and must live indoors. While they can be very social with the right care and supervision, they don’t like to be held or cuddled. Releasing a house-raised rabbit into the wild leaves the animal vulnerable to predators.

If giving or receiving plants for the holiday, make sure they stay out of the reach of any pets. Some items, such as lilies and daisies, can be toxic to pets. For a complete list, check out: www.aspca.org/Pet-care/poison-control/Plants.

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Parents: spring chicks may carry Salmonella


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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

 

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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.

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