Friday, March 30, 2007

Salmonella Easter Chicks


Did you know that some people give kids little baby chicks as Easter gifts? (Image credit) I had no idea that this was happening. When I was a kid, I was content with an Easter basket with lots of chocolate and sweets in it. And then, the traditional annual Easter egg hunt. Now, that was a good time!

In this Associated Press article, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that the giving of birds to kids, especially for Easter, may carry the danger of salmonella infection. Ew!
"This time of year, when everyone's wanting to give their kid a baby chick or baby duckling, that's when we start to see these outbreaks in people not accustomed to handling farm animals," said Charles Hofacre, a University of Georgia professor of veterinary medicine.

Salmonella is an infection that causes diarrhea, fever and vomiting. The bacteria live in the intestines of chickens and spread through their feces, which can cling to a bird's feet or feathers, even if it looks clean.

Children get sick by touching the birds and then putting their hands in their mouths. Young children are more susceptible than most adults, and those under 5 should not handle baby birds, officials said.
The article goes on to report recent salmonella outbreaks and how some states have passed laws discouraging giving small birds as Easter gifts. Who knew it was so common to give small birds this time of year? I guess I didn't.

So, for those of you out there who observe Easter, think twice before getting that baby chick for that young child in your life -- Better to stick with the Easter bonnet, Easter basket, and Easter candy. You'll be glad you did....

11 comments:

Grandparents Corner said...

Doc, I definitely remember those little Easter chicks being sold in the five and dime stores when I was muchhhh younger. Remember they had all colors, yellow, blue, purple. LOL I had no idea about the salmonella though. yuck.

BTW, my husband had to have a stent placed in an artery on Friday. I blogged on it on Tuesday, 3/27 if you have a few minutes.

Blessings!

Aprill said...

Don't touch chicks then put fingers in mouth. Check.

Whew. Good thing I read this before I went and did it. That could have ended a little ugly.

Awesome Mom said...

I am not sure it is really all that common since I had never even heard of it either. Who would want a chick any way since they grow up into nasty smelly chickens.

Donna said...

I was in a farm-and-home store yesterday where they were selling chicks dyed in many colors. I grew up on a farm and handled chicks every spring when a new batch came in the mail, but perhaps farm kids had a resistance?

Anyway, I have a problem with the Easter chick fad because I wonder what are city people going to do when the cute little chick grows up and starts cackling or crowing? Where will they keep it? They're going to have to get rid of it someplace. I think it's a form of animal abuse.

Not Nurse Ratched said...

This is also a bad idea because those cute fuzzy little chicks turn into big dirty chickens, which people then end up unceremoniously dumping every year to fend for themselves. It's a bad idea all the way around!

Empress Bee (of the High Sea) said...

i got a purple duck one easter, back in around 1951 or so, loved that little thing, then it got ugly and brown, then it disappeared one day, hmmmmmm......

smiles, bee

DrGwenn said...

Plus, if you give your kid a chick, you will be the one caring for it - as with all pets! Don't fall for the "but I'll take care of it, mom" line!

I prefer the candy chicks...

Max E Nurse said...

No mention of bird flu any where.

http://tinyurl.com/2j4cn8

In know it is as rare as hens teeth, but if we're looking for something to worry about...

Max

The Curmudgeon said...

And the dentists will be glad we stick to the candy, too.

Jelly beans....mmmmmmmmmmmm

Cathy said...

Oh, I remember when we were kids (back in the early 50s) we use to get live chickens and ducks and they were all colors. blue, pink, purple, orange, etc...They dyed them so parents would get them for their kids. You coudol get them at all the local stores at Easter time. We loved getting them. But, they got big and nasty. mom or dad would take them to my uncles farm.

We never got sick but they stopped doing this after they found that the dye was huring the chicks and ducks.

It's me, T.J. said...

Yes, farm kids are less susceptible because they have developed a resistance/immunity due to exposure.

While I don't promote giving baby animals as easter presents to young children, I do believe that raising our children in a sterile environment only promotes problems later in life and for our society as a whole.

later...