We recently adopted some chickens from our neighbors who are going to be traveling for a year and while we are really excited about having fresh eggs and natural tick repellents, there are a few hazards to take into consideration when having chickens around kids. I came across this article in Parents magazine (the February 2017 issue) and thought I’d share for any of my fellow moms (or dads!) who either have chickens already are thinking of getting them and have little one(s) at home..
*Because of the risk salmonella brings it is important never to kiss or nuzzle baby chicks. Salmonella lives in the chickens intestines and can easily spread though their droppings to their feathers and feet.
*Never wash a fresh egg until right before using it (or right before refrigerating it, which actually isn’t necessary for at least a week) Eggs have a natural protective coating and washing it off may actually increase the risk of contamination because the germy water can be absorbed into the egg though the shell’s pores and always wash your hands after handling eggs and feeding the chickens!
The article also states that chickens should be off limits for kids under 5 years old. Because of their suppressed immune system, they are more likely to have severe (even potentially fatal) illnesses from Salmonella.
That last tip might become more of an issue for us as our twins begin to walk and play in the yard, but it’s even more of an excuse to teach them early on about respecting wildlife, even when they are in your own backyard!
Don’t let this information discourage you from getting chickens (or getting rid of them if you already have them!) just be smart about it because they really can bring more good to your household than bad!