If you are among the growing numbers of households in Dane County that have backyard chickens, there are certain preventive measures you should take to:
The number of salmonella infections in the U.S. is increasing as more people are keeping backyard chickens. Salmonella bacteria are very common in chickens, and many have the bacteria in their droppings or even on their bodies. Salmonella can cause:
The elderly, infants, and those with weakened immune systems are most likely to get severe illness that may lead to hospitalization.
It is possible for lead to contaminate eggs, leading to lead poisoning in those who eat the eggs. The highest levels of lead usually are found in the yolk and shell. Eating soil contaminated with lead is the most common way chickens are exposed to lead. Items that can contaminate the soil include:
State Lab of Hygiene can test soil and egg yolks for lead. Call (800) 442-4618 or (608) 224-6202.
Rats are attracted to chicken coops as a source of food. If they have access to your coop, infestations can occur.
Eliminate their food source:
How to Get Rid of Rats in the Chicken Coop: The Definitive Guide, Backyard Chicken Project