Feb 282012
 

Foodborne Illness Outbreaks

I found this article online about chicks making kids sick.  It is very interesting and really emphasises the need for proper hygiene when handling chicks and chickens.  Raising backyard chickens is a lot of fun but you do need to be aware of the potential that they can make you sick.

  • Always wash your hands after handling chicks or chickens.
  • If you can’t, then have hand sanitizer near the chicken coop.
  • Be extra cautious when handling chicks or chickens that are new to your flock.

Read on to find out more about this serious health issue.

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Backyard Chicks Make More Kids Sick

by Mary Rothschild | Jun 30, 2011
Infected chicks and ducklings have sickened 71 people — more than half of them younger than 5 — in a growing multistate outbreak of Salmonella that now involves two different strains of the bacteria.
In an update on the outbreak tied to backyard poultry, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported Wednesday that the number of Salmonella Altona infections is now up to 49 cases in 16 states, while another 22 people in 12 states have been infected with Salmonella Johannesburg.
Eighteen people have been hospitalized with severe diarrhea.
Most of those who are ill, or whose children are ill, reported buying the live poultry for either backyard flocks to produce eggs or as pets.
Traceback investigations have indicated that the chicks and ducklings were purchased from multiple locations of a national company, Feed Store Chain A, which says it obtained the poultry from the Ohio-based Mt. Healthy Hatchery.
More than half of the 71 people are younger than 5 years of age.
Here’s the breakdown on the number of illnesses by state:
As of June 27, a total of 49 individuals infected with the outbreak strain of Salmonella Altona:  Georgia (1), Indiana (1), Kentucky (5), Maryland (4), Michigan (1), Minnesota (1), New Hampshire (1), New York (2), North Carolina (8), Ohio (9), Pennsylvania (5), Tennessee (3), Virginia (4), Vermont (1), Wisconsin (1), and West Virginia (2).
As of June 27,  a total of 22 individuals infected with the outbreak strain of Salmonella Johannesburg: Alabama (1), Arkansas (1), Georgia (2), Kentucky (2), Maine (1), New York (3), North Carolina (3), Ohio (3), Pennsylvania (1), Tennessee (2), Vermont (2), and West Virginia (1).

Oct 042010
 

There are a number of chicken health problems that can crop up seemingly overnight.  Common chicken health problems include chicken fleas and mites which can suck the life out of your chickens.  Many people commonly misdiagnose the two.

I have a friend who has been raising chickens for years.  She called me the other day completely freaked out and said there were tiny parasites in her hen house and she didn’t know what they were.  When she went out to clean the bedding out, the parasites were crawling all over her, her kids and upon close examination, her chickens. 

She doesn’t do well with bugs so she asked me to run out there and take a look at them and help her out because she was so grossed out by the parasites.  When I got there, we caught a few of the chickens and we figured out that they were covered with chicken fleas, not mites as she first suspected. So we had to figure out how to get rid of them. 

The important distinction here was that these parasites were chicken fleas because they live on the birds themselves, not just in the hen house and chicken run.  Red mites only come out when it gets dark to feed and they pretty much hide out in the hen house.  Where as chicken fleas crawl around all over the place and will crawl all over you when you get within range which is how they spread.  I had to be very careful that I didn’t take them home to my flock!

After some research, we found out that we had to do a complete kill of everything; the hen house, the chicken feeders, chicken waters, the perches, the chicken run, etc. with malathion.  We used a flea bomb first in the chicken house and we gave the chickens a malathion bath.  This is just what we decided to use however, there are several products that you can use to kill the chicken fleas.  They have a lifecycle that you have to interrupt so you have to treat for them every four days until they are gone.

She was lucky in that her husband is very handy and it was warm outside.  He put up a quick, ugly temporary “shed” for the birds for a few weeks.  It was made out of some old plywood and chicken wire that he had.  Then he tore it down after the chickens were moved back to their original home.

The key to preventing chicken health problems is to regularly dust your hen house, chicken run and your birds so that you don’t get this type of infestation.

Click Here  to get more information on common chicken health problems and raising healthy chickens.

Do you want to build your own chicken coop?   Click Here to get more information on chicken coop designs and chicken coop blueprints.



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4ppl Online Dating Personals

Jun 232010
 

chicken breeds Did You Buy The Right Breed Of Chicken For Egg Laying?

Your chickens have become old enough that they are beginning to lay eggs but you might wonder “How many eggs are normal“.  Look back to when your your chicks initially were picked up and brought home.  They were so tiny and irresistible and funny that it was tough to envision them ever being big enough to lay eggs for you. It is truly amazing that these birds can lay eggs so consistently.

As your chickens get older, you may get a little worried because they weren’t laying eggs like they used to.  As egg product decreases, many people obsessed that they are unhealthy or that they are doing something wrong.  Usually, there is nothing wrong with chickens and is normal.  There are a lot of things that can put your chickens off laying whether it is for a short time or in some cases, forever. I found out that there’s not an easy response to that question since how many eggs are normal for your laying chickens will depend upon a number of things.

5 Egg Laying Essentials

* The breed of chicken matters.  Chicken egg laying is almost completely dependent on the breed of chickens that you invested in.  Anyone that is relying on the fact that you are going to get one egg every single day from every single chicken is going to be disappointed.  A large percentage of chicken breeds will not lay eggs regularly and prolifically for you.  If you are concerned about getting a large number of eggs, it is advisable to pick the breed of chicken you because that is not what they were bred to do.

* How old are your chickens? What is assumed to be to be customary “chicken egg laying” for your hens will also depend on the age of your chickens.  Remember, the majority of hens will be the most prolific egg layers through their first year or two of laying.  As your hens become older, they will lay smaller amounts of eggs and they won’t lay eggs as regularly as they did when your chickens were more youthful.  But the flip side of this is that older hens usually produce larger, better quality eggs.  Older hens are also not as  prone to contracting diseases than more youthful hens.

* What season is it? Winter, summer, etc.  Chicken egg laying is dependent on the time of year and the weather.  Most chickens should produce more eggs more consistently during warmer weather and the longer days that come with summer and fall.  During the cold winter months and in periods of unbearable heat, don’t be alarmed if you find that you do not get any eggs at all.

During these times, you will find that egg production will normally be irregular and you will only get an egg if you are really, really lucky  As long as your hens still look healthy and happy, it is perfectly normal and there is usually nothing wrong with your flock.

* Are your chickens moulting?  Any time you note that your chickens are molting (losing a lot of feathers) your egg production will drop.  How do you know if your chickens are moulting?  If you start noticing a lot of feathers on the ground, they are moulting.  Moulting is hard on your hens and can cause your chickens to produce a smaller amount of eggs than is typical for your flock.  Don’t worry though because as soon as they are done moulting, your hens will start to lay again.

* Are your chicken healthy?  The number of eggs your chickens lay will be almost completely dependent on how hale and hearty your chickens are.  If you notice that your chickens show an abrubt decline in laying, then something may be up with them. Carefully inspect the legs and feet of your chickens carefully for scales that are raised or swollen as mites may just be your problem.  You have to get rid of the mites or your chickens will not be able to lay very many eggs.

* Give them enough room. Even if you only purchased breeds that are specifially bred to be laying chickens, they will not produce if they are kept confined in an area which is overly crowded or an area that is not kept properly ventilated and is not clean. You might have to build more chicken coops and chicken runs so that you can split up your flock.

These are some of the common reasons why your chicken egg laying may decline.  Most of the items discussed really can’t be fixed and you just have to live with lower production.

Click on the links to find out more on chicken health and common chicken health problems.

 


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