Information and unique products for Dogs, Cats, Rabbits and Backyard Chickens

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Salmonella and Safe Practices for Handling Poultry

Avoid Salmonella Exposure:

Safe Practices for Handling Poultry

Source: Ohio Poultry Association

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 PracticesIf 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.
Below are links to several brochures from various organizations which provide information on Salmonella, food handling, and biosecurity:
McMurray Hatchery has always and will continue to work diligently to produce the healthiest chicks possible.  We test for Salmonella along with many other diseases, and there has not been an issue with our parent stock or the chicks we send to you.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) National Poultry Improvement Plan (NPIP) implemented a new Salmonella Monitoring Program early this year. This program includes vaccination and testing for Salmonella. McMurray Hatchery has already vaccinated our parent stock and has increased our testing and monitoring.

The best way to control any poultry disease is proper management of your flock. Here are some key items to keep in mind:
  • Educate. Educate yourself and your family about raising poultry. There are many excellent books available. We recommend Guide to Raising Chickens or The Chicken Health Handbook by Gail Damerow. You may also want to contact your local Extension Office to find out what classes and materials they have available. Friends and family who have raised chicken for many years can also be an excellent source of help and information.
  • Clean. Keep your pens, equipment, coops, and chicken yards clean and disinfected. Make sure waterers and feeders are clean and filled with fresh water and feed at all times. We carry several disinfectants that you can use for cleaning coops, pens, and equipment: Virocid, Tek-Trol, and Quat-a-mone.
  • Protect. Keep your birds away from wild birds, rodents, and other animals that can carry germs and diseases. Diseases can be carried into your coop accidentally. Wash and disinfect footwear, tools, equipment, and other items before entering your coop.  Keep new birds separated (quarantined) for at least 30 days before introducing them into your flock.
  • Watch. Keep an eye on your flock.  Isolate and treat sick birds right away.

When keeping your own poultry, the responsibility falls on you to keep your birds healthy and happy. You can trust us to do our part, supplying you with healthy chicks.

What better way to know your food is safe than to raise or grow it yourself?

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