Keeping You and Your Family Safe

Keeping backyard chickens can be a very fun and rewarding experience. To keep your household safe from bacterial infection, you'll want to take extra precautions when handling the chickens and collecting their eggs. People can become exposed to Salmonella, E. coli, and Campylobacter bacteria which can live on the chickens' bodies and in their manure. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention recommends the following safe practices for interacting with chickens, their coop accessories, and their eggs:

  • Thoroughly wash your hands with soap and water right after touching the chickens, handling their feeders, waterers and other coop equipment, and collecting their eggs.

  • Parents should closely supervise young children to make sure they wash their hands thoroughly after interacting with the chickens.

  • Despite the temptation, never kiss or snuggle baby chicks or chickens.

  • Never allow the chickens into your house or around areas where food is prepared, stored, or served.

  • And do not eat or drink in areas where the chickens live or roam.

Handle Eggs Safely:

  • Always wash your hands with soap and water after collecting the eggs.

  • Collect eggs often. Eggs that sit too long in the coop can become dirty or cracked.

  • Always throw away cracked eggs.

  • Do not wash warm eggs with cold water as this can pull bacteria into the egg through its shell.

  • Refrigerate eggs to keep them fresh and slow bacteria growth.

  • Cook the egg whites and yolk until they are firm.

Additional CDC recommendations for safe handling can be found here.

The latest information from the CDC regarding Avian Influenza (Flu) can be accessed here.