Avoid Salmonella Exposure:
Safe Practices for Handling Poultry
Don't Forget! Always wash your hands.
Even healthy and clean looking birds can be carriers of Salmonella bacteria. Salmonella bacteria are in the droppings of many chicks and ducklings and contaminate their environment and the entire surface of the bird.
Basic Safety Practices
If you choose to own chicks, ducklings, or other birds, following a few basic steps can help you avoid exposure to Salmonella.
1. It is absolutely essential to wash your hands with soap and warm water immediately after touching birds or anything in the birds' environment.
2. Chicks and ducklings are not appropriate pets for children under five years of age.
3. Do not allow the birds to be close to your mouth or face.
4. Live poultry should be kept outside.
5. Adults should clean cages/pens. Litter should be frequently changed.
6. Do not handle birds before or while cooking, eating or doing other kitchen tasks.
7. Do not use the kitchen sink to clean bird cages, feed or water containers.
8. If you are experience abdominal pain, fever, and/or diarrhea, visit your physician right away.
Salmonella can cause serious illness, especially in infants and young children because they are more likely to put their fingers in their mouth and because their immune systems are still developing. Older adults, pregnant women, people on chemotherapy, diabetics and people with weakened immune systems may also have more severe symptoms.