Poultry Breeding, Farming and Transport

Woman cleaning poultry inside a plant

Poultry Breeding, Farming, and Transport

Individuals involved in poultry breeding, farming, and the loading and transport of poultry to processing facilities face a number of potential health hazards. Exposures to chemicals such as ammonia or disinfectants and detergents used on poultry farms are possible as well as exposures to agricultural dust, both inorganic and organic. Infections and resultant health effects may occur due to exposures to biological agents including viruses (e.g., avian influenza virus and West Nile virus), bacteria (e.g., Campylobacter jejuni, E. coli, Salmonella), and fungi (e.g., Histoplasma capsulatum). Musculoskeletal injuries may result from working in awkward body positions during activities such as poultry catching. Thermal stress experienced during warm summer months and cold winter months may also be a concern. Noise exposures, particularly in poultry confinement houses, can also be a significant concern. Traumatic injuries and deaths of poultry farm workers have occurred from improper practices and use of industrial machinery present on poultry farms. This section provides links to information and investigations about the evaluation and control of these and other potential hazards during poultry breeding, farming, and transport.

Biological Hazards

CDC and NIOSH Publications and Research:
CDC Features:
Related Published Articles:

Chemical Hazards

NIOSH Publications and Research:
Related Published Articles:

Physical Hazards

NIOSH Publications and Research:
  • Workplace Safety and Health Topic: Cold Stress
  • Workplace Safety and Health Topic: Heat Stress
  • Workplace Safety and Health Topic: Noise

Ergonomic Hazards

NIOSH Publications and Research:

Traumatic Injury and Safety Hazards

Related Published Articles:

Reported Health Effects

NIOSH Publications and Research:
  • NIOSH Workplace Safety and Health Topic: Asthma and Allergies
  • NIOSH Alert: Preventing Asthma in Animal Handlers
    DHHS (NIOSH) Publication No. 97-116
    This Alert describes three case reports of animal handling workers affected by exposures to animals. The recommendations presented here can help reduce such exposures and prevent animal-induced asthma and allergies.
Related Published Articles:

Other Resources

Page last reviewed: April 8, 2014