Backyard Chickens: Cage Free but Not Carefree

6. Chickens Carry Salmonella.

All chickens potentially carry this infectious bacteria. Chickens can harbor it in their gastrointestinal tracts and pass it into their stool without being affected by it themselves.People or other pets in contact with chicken droppings may accidentally ingest this bacteria and develop severe intestinal infections. In fact, it has been reported that an increasing number of people are becoming infected with Salmonella due to backyard chicken flocks. The best way to prevent accidental ingestion and infection is to wash your hands whenever you touch a chicken or anything potentially contaminated with chicken feces (nest boxes, soil, the coop, food dishes, etc.). Also, never bring pet chickens inside your home, especially in the kitchen, and don’t kiss your chicken, even when she’s a cute and fuzzy little chick.

Bottom Line: The Reality “Cluck”

Chickens can make terrific, charming and entertaining pets — as long as you know what you are getting into ahead of time and can take the proper precautions to ensure that both you and your new feathered friends stay healthy and happy.

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