Can backyard chickens get salmonella? The answer is yes. It is common for chickens, ducks, and other poultry to carry Salmonella and Campylobacter. These are bacteria that can live naturally in the intestines.
How Do Chickens Get Salmonella?
All chickens have salmonella, because salmonella is part of the normal flora in the digestive tract. However, not all chickens consume salmonella which causes disease.
Chickens can get salmonella infection from exposure to other chicken droppings or other animals. For example, from mice that leave salmonella in their feces.
Chickens can also spread salmonella bacteria from the droppings stepped on by the chickens. Or maybe they accidentally consume feces when looking for food.
How do I know if my chickens have salmonella
Below are the symptoms when your chickens are infected with salmonella. Chickens that are sick with salmonella will be weak, lethargic, purple combs and wattles, reduced appetite and increased thirst.
Additionally you will see distinct white, sulfur yellow or green diarrhea. In some cases, the joint will swell and blindness may occur due to swelling in the eye.
How to Prevent Salmonella From Backyard Chickens
Here are some things you can do to reduce your chicken’s risk of getting salmonella. Make sure your backyard chicken breeds have a clean and well-maintained environment.
Make sure your bedding changes regularly, and provide fresh food and water every day. In addition, clean the cage regularly to reduce the risk of salmonella infection in your chickens.
You also need to prevent animal pests, such as rats and mice. Because the droppings of these animals are small, they can easily be pressed into bedding and crevices in cages without being noticed.
By preventing rodents, you can reduce the risk of salmonella occurring in your chicken coop. Avoid using rodent poison near your backyard chicken coop as it can kill your chickens. Use Mousetrap to keep your chickens away from rodents.
Also, pay attention to your own hygiene, keep your hands clean before, during and after handling chickens. Clean the cage and remove any eggs you don’t want to hatch as soon as possible. This will reduce the risk of the chickens being exposed to salmonella bacteria that may be present on the egg shells.
Things Backyard Flock Owners Should Do
Always wash your hands with soap and water immediately after touching backyard poultry, either their eggs, or anything else in the area where they live and roam. You can also use hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available. Provide hand sanitizer in your chicken coop
Don’t kiss backyard poultry, and don’t eat or drink around them. This can spread Salmonella germs into your own mouth which will make you sick.
Keep your backyard flock and the backyard chicken supplies you use to care for it (such as the feed containers and shoes you wear in the coop) outdoors. You should also clean the supplies regularly.
Always supervise children around poultry in the backyard. Do not allow children under 5 years of age to touch chickens, ducks, or other backyard fowl. Young children are easier to get sick from germs like Salmonella.
Collect eggs often. Throw away eggs that are cracked, as germs on the shell can enter the egg more easily through a cracked shell. Clean the dirt on the eggs with fine sandpaper, brush, or cloth. Don’t wash them, as water can pull germs into the eggs.
Refrigerate eggs to keep them fresh and slow the growth of germs. Cook the eggs until the yolks and whites have hardened, and cook the egg dish at an internal temperature of 160°F to kill all germs.