- Always handle the youngest birds first. Young birds have an immature immune system and can be sickened by diseases from an older bird.
- Avoid eating, drinking, smoking, or touching your hands to your face while working with your birds.
- Never nuzzle or kiss your birds.
- Wash your hands with soap and water (or use hand sanitizer) immediately after working with birds.
For the full CDC report: http://www.cdc.gov/salmonella/altona-baby-chicks/052711/
Please remember that salmonella can be transmitted to the egg, so eggs of infected chickens are likely to be contaminated, and chicks born to an infected chicken can also be carriers. Chickens can live normal an productive lives while carrying salmonella infections. Some possible signs of salmonella include:
- Diarreha, lethargy, and/or going off their feed
- Excessive thirst
- Hatching eggs that develop normally for a few days, then suddenly die
- When dead birds are examined, the liver, spleen, kidney, and heart can appear to have suffered damage
- Remember, in chickens, it is possible for salmonella to be present with no outward indications
One parting thought--Remember not to wash your eggs unless they are excessively dirty. If you do wash them, use them right away. Eggs have a protective bloom on them that keeps the potential little one inside safe from outside diseases. Washing removes this bloom and can force bacteria through the porous shell.