Before we get into the rather foul part of this chicken story, we intend to prove that not much is new under the sun. Let’s go back to World War II and comedian Fred Allen “Many people are starting to raise a few chickens along with their Victory Garden. The Department of Agriculture has had a thousands of request for information on chicken raising, and so” now let’s fast forward to just this last week and guess what? “Cities are starting to see a major boom in backyard flocks.” University of Kentucky Extension Poultry expert Dr. Jackie Jacob. People are “flocking’ to the hobby of raising chickens in the back yard. “ So that they can have fresh eggs. A lot of people believe that they are more nutritious. They are not, but people believe they are.” Well, this is all well and good if it is legal in your town and city. But, now we are seeing the down side. We are seeing a pretty widespread series of human Salmonella outbreak traced to backyard poultry flocks, and so far this summer, at least as of last week “Forty-five different states. Six-hundred eleven people and counting.” And Dr. Jacob says raising a few people at home is not automatically a hazard in itself but “The main problem we are seeing is that a lot of the backyard flocks which only have two or three birds, a lot of times they become pets and in reality they are livestock. And as livestock they can carry a number of different bacteria’s that if not handled properly can make people sick.” A survey shows over eighty percent of backyard chicken raisers don’t have a clue about that and they know that most birds have Salmonella in their systems and can’t be avoided. “The problem is that it is humans getting sick. The chickens are fine.” They are fine. In some homes they let the chickens inside the house and let kids use them as pets. Have very close contact with them. Dr. Jacob says, not a good idea “So if you handle your birds wash your hands afterward. Don’t let small kids that are still sucking thumbs and rubbing eyes and all that kind of thing handle birds by themselves.” And finally she shouldn’t even have to say this one, but “don’t kiss your chickens” Not even a little peck. But she says kids and some adults do this and that is just asking for a bout of Salmonella. Many people that raise backyard just don’t know this stuff. Now we take you back to Fred Allen who introduced a Falstaff the poet with a very informative chicken poem. “What is your chicken farm called?” “That’s why a hen lays an egg. Tonight I will answer this question. For the knot I am pundit not yoka. The reason the hen lays the egg is if she coughed up the egg it would choke her.
There you go. In Washington, Gary Crawford, Department of Agriculture.