By Justin Miller
AUBURN UNIVERSITY, Ala. – The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently announced it is currently investigating outbreaks of Salmonella infections linked to backyard poultry flocks. As of July 28, the CDC reported 938 cases across 48 states — including Alabama. Of the cases reported, 28% of them are children under the age of five.
Take Measures to Protect Yourself
It is critical for backyard poultry producers to follow biosecurity procedures. These procedures protect both the growers and the birds from illness.
“Having a good biosecurity program provides a measure of protection to both the grower and anyone they come in contact with because they are not spreading disease,” said Kristin Woods, an Alabama Extension poultry science regional agent.
Read Alabama Extension’s recommendations on a good biosecurity program in full in the publication Biosecurity for Backyard Poultry Flocks.
Woods said when it comes to people that do not own poultry, there are still ways they can come in contact with birds.
“Even if you do not raise your own birds, you may still come in contact with backyard poultry in some way,” Woods said. “Chicks and ducklings at farm supply stores as well as a friend’s backyard operation are great examples of this contact.”
According to Woods, if people do happen to come in contact with live poultry, there are some simple steps they should follow to protect themselves.
- After touching poultry or their environment, wash hands thoroughly with soap and water. Using hand sanitizer is a secondary option. Adults should help young children properly wash their hands.
- Wash or sanitize shoes that come in contact with the poultry environment so the feces is not tracked into a car or home.
- Do not eat or drink where you keep the poultry.
- Do not kiss the birds or snuggle them up against your face.