A new article just came out recently about kissing chickens. Apparently this is a practice that the Centers For Disease Control (CDC) want you to cease and desist doing immediately. The even stated that they, “had told you before” and now they are telling you again to stop it. The reason? Apparently the CDC has found out that this practicing of puckering up with a chicken can lead to the “Kisser” contracting salmonella from the “Kissee.”
The CDC reported recently in a study that with the increased popularity of keeping chickens and other back yard poultry flocks has increased the rate of salmonella outbreaks that are associated with “live poultry.” My first thought was, “As opposed to what? Cartoon poultry?”
They labeled this practice of kissing chickens as a “Risky Behavior.” This included the kissing, cuddling and allowing their chickens to roam about in the living areas of the home including their bathrooms. This outbreak included 180 people in 2015, and of the sample incidents that they studied, 49% reported cuddling baby poultry, 46% of those reporting sick said that they allowed their chickens to roam willy-nilly in their homes and 13% reported that they had indeed kissed baby poultry.
The CDC concluded, “Poultry are acquiring a new position in many households. Instead of being treated as production animals, they are increasingly being considered household pets.”
The Humane Society chimed in of course, stating that they have guidelines for backyard poultry and their guidelines do not include allowing them to lounge in your home, hang around in your bathroom or cuddling them before you tuck them in at night.
Even if your chickens or other poultry appear to be clean, they do not recommend that you kiss them, cuddle them, or engage in any other sort of “risky behavior” with your birds.
Apparently chickens carry Salmonella in their lower digestive tracts. of course when the ca-ca hits the dirt, chickens can then track it into their cages and coops and from there it can spread to their food and water dishes.
They stated that they can even spread it around their enclosure effecting any hay, plants, or dirt in their enclosure. In other words, “It can go everywhere.”
While the Salmonella bacteria isn’t harmful to the birds, it can get you feeling pretty ill. Symptoms include stomach cramps,bloody stools, chills, diarrhea, fever, headache, muscle pains, nausea and vomiting. If left untreated, the symptoms can get worse including internal bleeding and multiple organ failure.
This is definitely not the way I want to spend the weekend.
What to do? Well, I guess we should all lay off kissing chickens. But the CDC wasn’t yet done with this Salmonella warning. They have also flagged pet turtles and rodents as carriers of salmonella. They recommend that people with either of these types of animal companions not kiss them, either.
So there you have it. Quit kissing your chickens.