Easter Chicks Can Carry Salmonella

The New Mexico Department of Health has advised parents against purchasing chicks or ducklings to give as gifts to children during Easter. They can carry Salmonella and 15 cases have occurred in the state in the last four years related to chicks. Most of the cases were in young children.

Baby poultry can carry Salmonella without appearing sick so children who hold, cuddle or kiss them can be exposed without anyone knowing. They also can exposed by touching cages, and bowls for feeding and drinking. Because children tend to put fingers in their mouths or touch their mouths, and due to their developing immune systems they are more susceptible to Salmonella. Live poultry can have the bacteria in their droppings feathers, feet and beaks.

Salmonella causes diarrhea, vomiting, fever, and/or abdominal cramps. It can also result in hospitalization, and even death. In 2010, there were over 8,200 infections from Salmonella in the United States, according to CDC. Twenty-nine deaths from Salmonella were documented by CDC in the same year.

CDC says children under five years of age should not be allowed to touch live poultry, including babies such as chicks and goslings, to prevent Salmonella exposure. They also say live baby poultry should not be allowed indoors, especially in areas where food is prepared or eaten.

Such guidelines may seem very harsh to some people. However, the purchasing of live baby animals is typically associated with strong emotion and less rational thought, resulting in impulse purchases. These purchases might turn out to be very poor decisions if they wind up causing illness. No parent wants to increase the chance of making their child sick, but emotion often clouds judgement, and the practice of buying live baby poultry at Easter is one which needs to be re-examined.

Image Credit: Fir0002/Flagstaffotos

GNU Free Documentation License


Related Links

Pet Frogs Can Transmit Salmonella

16,000 Pounds of Beef Patties Recalled


Kathy Perez
Kathy Johnson5 years ago

why BUY young kids animals they arent old enough to care for.. sorry for the typos

Kathy Perez
Kathy Johnson5 years ago

uhm why babe young kids animals they arent ready to care for to begin with?

Jennifer Walsh
Jennifer Walsh5 years ago

do people actually give live chicks to children as gifts? ive never heard of this

Richelle Rausch
Richelle Rausch5 years ago

I can't believe that people actually buy chicks for children's gifts! What is going through their minds? Very few people have what it takes to actually raise those chickens in a healthy, humane way. That being said, we have had chicken chicks in our home. My daughter brought the newly hatched chicks home from a fair where they were just going to be given away to anyone, without any requirements. Yes, they are adorable and loving. But they also poop A LOT, and it's stinky and messy. We had to clean up after them many times a day and constantly wash our hands. Also, we didn't have any pets at the time. Once the weather had warmed up & they were big enough, a friend who had a coop took them. The youngest & sweetest, Baby, is still alive. The exception was Charlie, a chick w/a broken leg we rescued from a store that shouldn't have been selling chicks in the first place. She stayed with us til she died. She was one spoiled chicken & we loved her, but the cleaning and washing was constant, and there were no other pets in the home. She couldn't live with the chickens mentioned above because of her disability. PS. She was named after Charlie and the Chocolate Factory because of her baby chocolate sauce like poop. Yes, it's gross! PPS. Charlie, for many reasons, is why I stopped eating chichen (birds).

Please don't bring home chicks without an appropriate living situation for them for their entire, happy lives. Thank you.

Ailsa Porter
Ailsa Porter5 years ago

Absolute ban on the practise of giving baby rabbits and chicks for Easter!

Lydia Price

Everything carries salmonella. I'd rather get sick kissing a baby chick than eating the one thawing on the counter.

Michaela S.
Past Member 5 years ago

I didn't even realise that people do this. What happens to the chicks when they start growing and do these people know how to look after them properly? I doubt it This practice needs to be banned completely.

Lenicka R.
Lenicka R5 years ago

Giving live chicks and ducklings as presents to children should be forbidden!!!!!!

Parents and stores who still do that , should be 2x condemned.
1 For Animal Cruelty
2 For Child Abuse

Magdalen B.
Magdalen B5 years ago

If salmonella is the only reason this is not recommended, I've been mistaken in Care 2.
Is this a "usual practice" in your part of the planet??
Nobody should be giving live chicks and ducklings as presents to children at all!