Salmonella bacteria can be found in the intestinal tract of many chicks. Salmonella can spread from chicks to humans quite easily if handlers and other persons around chicks do not take care to keep this from happening.
It is important to understand that Salmonella is shed in the feces of chicks and can spread by handling of objects that come into contact with the chick’s feces. It is necessary for a person to ingest the salmonella bacteria in order to become infected, so handling any chicks or other items and then eating or touching another person who may then eat or ingest the bacteria can spread salmonella.
To protect against the spread of salmonella it is important to wash your hands with hot soapy water after handling chicks, cages and equipment or cleaning feces. Keep your chicks penned outside, and be sure to once again wash hands in hot water after visiting or touching any items in the chicks area. Do not eat, drink or smoke while visiting the chicks area, touching the chicks themselves, their cages or any equipment used with your chicks.
Another important thing to keep in mind is, if you have chicks and children do not allow them to kiss the chicks, handle the chicks, and eat or drink, or put their hands in mouths. Keep anti-bacterial wipes by the chicks area so that small children’s hands and faces can be wiped right after they are done touching the chicks. Do not leave small children with chicks alone or without adult supervision. It is also important to remember that any person who is immune-compromised should not have any contact with chicks or adult chickens.
It is also important to keep the area where chicks and chickens live clean of feces as much as possible. Check with your local waste management company and recycle companies on how to handle the compost and feces that is being created in your chicken coop. In some states across the nation chickens are not allowed within the city limits. Please check into the rules, regulations, and laws pertaining to owning chicks and chickens in your area, before you build that chicken coop and house chickens within the city limits of your state.
Keep in mind that healthy chicks and chickens are less likely to spread salmonella bacteria so keep your chicks and chickens healthy and, maintain veterinarian care. Also keep in mind that feeding chickens healthy diets and keeping their environment clean sanitary will help to control salmonella bacteria in their living area.