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Erroneous Media Reports About Chickens and Halloween Costumes

Media Statement

For Immediate Release: Thursday, October 25, 2018
Contact: Media Relations,
(404) 639-3286

Despite news reports to the contrary, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has not warned people against dressing chickens in Halloween costumes.

However, we do advise people with backyard or pet chickens to handle them carefully to keep their family and their chickens safe and healthy.

  • Always wash your hands after touching chickens or anything in their environment. Running water and soap are best. Use alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water aren’t available, and wash your hands thoroughly when you get to a sink.
  • Keep chickens outdoors. Never bring them in your house.
  • Don’t eat or drink in the area where the birds live or roam.
  • Don’t kiss your birds or snuggle them and then touch your face or mouth.
  • Children under 5 years old should not hold or touch chickens. Young children are more likely to get sick because their immune systems are still developing and they are more likely to put their fingers or pacifiers and other items into their mouths.
  • More information about keeping backyard chickens and other poultry is available at https://www.cdc.gov/features/salmonellapoultry/index.html.

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U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES

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