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Healthy Families and Flocks

Live poultry, such as chickens, ducks, geese, and turkeys, often carry harmful germs such as Salmonella. While it usually doesn’t make the birds sick, Salmonella can cause serious illness when it is passed to people.

Handwashing Protects You From Germs

  • Always wash your hands with soap and water right after touching live poultry or anything in the area where they live and roam.
  • Adults should supervise handwashing for young children.
  • Use hand sanitizer if soap and water are not readily available.

Handle Birds Safely

  • Children younger than 5 years, adults older than 65 years, and people with weakened immune systems should not handle or touch chicks, ducklings, or other live poultry.
  • Do not bring chicks, ducklings and other live poultry to schools, childcare centers, or nursing homes.
  • Do not snuggle or kiss the birds, touch your mouth, or eat or drink around live poultry.
Illustration showing woman cleaning up after duck.

Safely Clean Coops

  • Clean any equipment used to care for live poultry outside, such as cages or feed or water containers.
  • Set aside a pair of shoes to wear while taking care of poultry and keep those shoes outside of the house.

Poultry Belong Outside

  • Do not let live poultry inside the house, especially in kitchens.
  • Do not let live poultry in areas where food or drink is prepared, served, or stored.

Have a Backyard Flock? Don’t Wing it.

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