An article on Yahoo News yesterday documented over 300 cases of Salmonella illness, linked to one hatchery, between 2004 and 2012. Alarming? I’d say not – that is just under 40 cases per year. However, the CDC advises that children under 5 not be allowed to touch chickens at all.
As one member of a discussion group I’m part of pointed out, kids have a greater chance of being injured by an automobile. Symptoms of Salmonella include bloody diarrhea, fever, and stomach pain, and the illness is rarely fatal. As with other pets, practice good hygiene, washing hands thoroughly with hot, soapy water after touching animals and especially after coming into contact with poop.