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how dangerous is Chicken Poop? Expand / Collapse
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Posted 4/20/2009 9:36:33 AM
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My aunt is discouraging me from raising chickens, because of lethal bacteria in their droppings.  She has a friend who almost died due to this.

I've never heard of this before, but I am aware that strict sanitation is in order when handling any type of bird.  (Wash hands before and after handling . . . etc.)

My husband says that chicken manure is great for the garden - he used it once and it worked wonders.  Plus, he and his family never got sick from the use of this - is it processed, maybe?  AND would I be able to use the manure I gather from the coop?

So should I be concerned about contamination and the health and safety of my family regarding raising chickens?  Any good books that you recommend?

(I was planning on getting started this week. . .)

Any words of wisdom are much appreciated, THANKS!!

Jessica Good
888.443.8914 toll-free
www.JessicasEclectics.com
*Visit my LINKS page for fun finds!

Post #6292
Posted 4/20/2009 10:39:31 AM
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 I was going to make a joke about clean water can kill you too if you drink too much but I don't want to sound like I'm not taking this seriously.  Folks have been living (and I suppose a few...dieing) around chickens forever and some have used strict sanitation and some less than strict.   Somehow we seem to spend more time worrying about the dangers of natural things than we do the manufactured/altered stuff we live with and ingest.   Yes, chickens can carry diseases and you should wash your hands after you handle them and I generally throw the chicken poop in the compost heap first but I don't think you should worry that raising them is a death defying act.  Hope I didn't offend.  Mary Ann
Post #6294
Posted 4/20/2009 2:11:30 PM
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There is a nasty lung disease that is caused by inhaling the dust - usually while cleaning the chicken housing.  I forget what it's called, but it is a concern.  I know I've seen flyers about it at our TSC. 

Otherwise, normal sanitation is all that is required, same as for any animal, including humans! 

Post #6299
Posted 4/21/2009 7:26:39 AM
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Yep, I'm drawing a blank on what that disease is called, too.  The greatest danger is when you are cleaning the coop, as their dung dries out fairly quickly and floats around in the air when you stir it up.  We wear masks when cleaning the coop to protect ourselves.

Don't allow yourself to be discouraged by naysayers.  Normal precautions are all that is necessary.  The benefits in eating fresh eggs and home grown chicken are much greater than the small chance that you might get sick.

Karen

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Post #6322
Posted 4/22/2009 11:57:35 AM


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Hi Jessica,

I have to echo the others -- just take common-sense precautions, and don't worry. I've kept chickens for almost 20 years now, and they've never made me, nor my family, sick (as far as I know). I'm always careful to wash my hands after handling the chickens or their eggs, or after cleaning the coop (and I really made sure my daughter did this when she was little). I'm also careful about making sure eggs and chicken meat are cooked thoroughly before eating them; the one time I'm pretty certain I had salmonella was after accidentally eating some partly raw chicken at our local fair, and that was terrible!

Chickens are great fun to raise, and you'll absolutely love the fresh eggs

Chicken books I like include Sue Weaver's Hobby Farms Chickens and Storey's Guide to Raising Chickens. They cover all the basics.

Cherie

Post #6381
Posted 4/22/2009 12:55:26 PM
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I agree with the others, try to refrain from eating or breathing it and then you will have more chance of hurting yourself by slipping on a runny one.
Post #6385
Posted 4/22/2009 10:19:15 PM
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Thank you all for your encouragement and sound advise.  (and by the way, no offense taken about the too much clean water can kill you, too - it really gave me the "ah-ha" or "oh, yea" moment.)

If anyone else has anything to add, I'd like to hear (read) it. . .

Jessica Good
888.443.8914 toll-free
www.JessicasEclectics.com
*Visit my LINKS page for fun finds!

Post #6394
Posted 4/23/2009 12:47:38 PM
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I believe the illiness that your relative is speaking of is called histoplasmosis (not sure on the spelling).  It is a fungal infection of the lungs that can cause lung tissue to become scared, lymphy nodes to become inlarged and a few other things.  It is not just caused by chicken poop but from any type of bird droppings.  Usually it is not serious but can be especially in the really young, old or immune supressed.  Alot of people get it and think that they have nothing more than a cold.  In sever cases you can become really sick and even die, but this is rare unless there are other factors at work.  You get it from the dry dust particles and it is present in most soil but is very prevelant in the midwest and is also present in caves due to bat droppings.  My brother somehow caught a pretty good case of it once that is how I got alot of this information.  He ended up being fine but had to have a scope put down his throught to view his lungs to be certain it was not something more serious.  That being said best ways to prevent are to not dig or stir up dry dust, where a mask (such as used when painting or wet down the soil first to eleminate dust).  IMO not really a big thing to worry about unless your immune system is out of sorts.  My brothers cause was a freak chance occurance.

jhall
Post #6419
Posted 4/24/2009 6:18:21 AM
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wow.. I actually had a case of that last year! I just thought I was reacting to feathers or whatever.  Cleaning out the coop gave me hives, lungs felt like I'd been working in a refinery breathing coolant.  Was laid up for days..wow!  I was in the coop for 4-6 hours so it was extream.  Now I pitch out a wheelbarrow or 3 every week, rather than an all day affair and no issues since. 

Don't let folks talk you out of stuff like chickens and stock.  I have folks who like your aunt will try and talk me out of farming, even keeping chickens. I find birds to be simple...a walk in the park realy.  I've got 50 now I think ???

Folks used to say things like.."oh it's a lot of work"  So what?
"they have ticks"...so does your Lap dog..
"you need to feed them every day"  I allready have 2 kids, chickens are easyer to keep up with.

Good luck

Post #6438
Posted 12/12/2010 6:08:30 PM
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Hi I am writing with a few questions about chicken poop.

My daughter in law is living in Oklahoma with her father to describe it as "Rural" would be a joke.  Its more like BFE.  The problem is that my 1 yr old granddaughter is also there. 

He has "Free Range" chickens ...meaning they are all over the yard outside crapping where they want to.  Her dad walks through the yard and gets poop all over his boots and then goes in the house and tracks poop all over the carpet and then my granddaughter craws through it and its on her toys which she puts in her mouth !!!

I have tried to tell them that this is very dangerous and my granddaughter could get quite ill or die.  The grandfather thinks it is stupid to take your boots off at the door. I say he is living like a pig !!!

Can you tell me what the dangers are ?

Thank you

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