6 votes

Are backyard chickens dangerous to children?

I wanted to get 3 laying chickens and keep them in a chicken coop in my huge backyard. I'll let them out to wander in the yard when I'm outside. I have three children 2, 4, and 5 and I think they'd love taking care of a few chickens.
When presented with this idea, my husband promptly went on-line to the CDC website, where it says that chickens are full of terrible bacteria and not to have them near children. I think the CDC is probably looking after the interests of the big egg corps., heaven forbid we don't buy their crap at the grocery store, and shouldn't be taken very seriously. Of course I'd keep the coop clean and it's only 3 chickens.
How realistic are the risks? Has anyone ever heard of kids getting sick from a few backyard chickens? And what good egg laying breed would you recommend for kids?
So sick of the control.

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You can't only let them out of the coop when you're outside

You need to build a big enclosure in your backyard they can always run around in. You're job is to open the coop in the morning and close it at night. If you just let them run free they'll tear up your shrubs and find your porches for pooping.
I have a 2 1/2 year old who has had chickens her whole life and has had no ill effects. She will say that the chi chis can be a bit scary when they run to you for food, but the choo choo chi chi (rooster) is to be avoided (except from the other side of the fence where he can be pestered to no end)!

We have refused to clip their wings

and they won't hardly fly over anything 4' tall. We used cattle panel and chicken wire to make a fence. The only place they fly over is at the hurricane fence gate that is a bit shorter. It gives them a perch to sit on, then they hop down. I don't think they fly over the panels themselves. Our barred plymouth rocks don't tend to fly much, which is usually a trait of the larger breeds.

I am Ron Paul.

That's.......

no way to talk about somebody else's children mike.....

;)

Because: Some animals are more equal than other animals. -Animal Farm-

What the? > http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6MTIwY3_-ks

LOL!

Just have them wash their hands after handling. Get some food grade diatomaceous earth and put it in a plastic bin for them to take dust baths. Sprinkle it in their bedding and all through the coop. You can even make a whitewash and paint the inside of the coop with it. This should keep mites and lice away....the lice chickens get aren't the same type that bother humans, but they do bother the chickens. Keep your coop clean and have plenty of ventilation. Chickens can take the cold weather, but suffer in the heat. You shouldn't have any problems with your kids getting sick.

I grew up with chickens

and I lived! lol

Honestly the risks are very low. I live in a community where everyone has farm animals, and chickens and there are lots of small children, I've never heard of anyone getting sick from chickens. They are probably more dangerous to buy from the store and cook.

Just make sure they don't eat/play with the poop. It's no different than owning a turtle or a snake or a lizard:)

Not sure about the best egg layers though,

The world is my country, all mankind are my brethren, and to do good is my religion.
-Thomas Paine

P.S.

Good for your spouse for looking it up to make sure it's safe, that's good parenting even if it's a misguided source:)

The world is my country, all mankind are my brethren, and to do good is my religion.
-Thomas Paine

Yes very dangerous,, I don't know how American

farmers escaped the slaughter.

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Reptiles and birds have

Reptiles and birds have salmonella, This can be dangerous/fatal to small children. Anecdotally, I raised chickens and other birds as a kid and am still alive to talk about it. I'd say just use common sense like having the kids wash their hands after collecting the eggs, don't let the chickens in the sand box and don't eat raw egg in cookie dough etc...

I know it's bad

but I have eaten raw cookie dough all of my life. It is better than the chocolate chip cookies IMO.

The world is my country, all mankind are my brethren, and to do good is my religion.
-Thomas Paine