September 20, 2021


We know our pets

Yard Chicken Coops Can Pose Viral Danger

By Robert Preidt
HealthDay Reporter

FRIDAY, March 12, 2021 (HealthDay News) — Raising chickens in your yard — a common trend throughout the COVID-19 pandemic — holds dangers that can arrive household to roost in an unwelcome way.

It is really already effectively recognized that poultry can unfold the salmonella bacteria to human handlers. But chickens cooped up in backyards could also be breeding grounds for viruses that pose an even bigger general public well being danger, in accordance to Sonia Hernandez, a professor of wildlife sickness at the College of Ga, in Athens.

“As a researcher who reports pathogen movement alongside distinct teams, I see yard chickens as a probable interface in which pathogens can spill above into wild birds, or vice versa, and even into people today,” Hernandez said in a university information release.

“Entrepreneurs want to seek information and healthcare treatment for their animals to lower those hazards,” she reported.

The major danger will come from residence chickens’ opportunity as a reservoir for mutations in the so-referred to as avian flu (“chicken flu”). These viruses can infect commercially made poultry and devastate people industries. But humans could be specifically influenced, as well.


“Traditionally, most hugely pathogenic avian influenza viruses only impacted chickens in professional operations,” Hernandez mentioned, “but just lately, we have found that they can — in uncommon conditions — transfer into men and women, and there are rising studies of it impacting backyard chickens and wild birds.”

Chicken flu outbreaks could distribute to people, a thing which is on scientists’ minds in a yr dominated by a worldwide pandemic of coronavirus. Most specialists believe that SARS-CoV-2 originated from an animal-to-human “spillover” occasion happening somewhere in China.

“Men and women need to have to identify that they have to just take some responsibility for their well being and the well being of their animals,” Hernandez reported. “Also, we are living in a pandemic at the instant due to the fact of a spillover function, simple and simple.”

Hernandez reminded the community that, besides the probable menace from viruses, chickens can conveniently spread salmonella to people.

“It can turn into specially risky if you combine very little chickens with minor people — young chickens that are shedding a great deal of salmonella with small young ones that do not have the ideal cleanliness practices,” she said.


Most men and women who get salmonella an infection have signs or symptoms these as diarrhea, fever and stomach cramps, but about 26,500 People in america are hospitalized thanks to these infections and 420 die every single yr.

Hernandez mentioned health officials are attempting to stay on top rated of salmonella in backyard chickens for the reason that they have seen an explosion of salmonellosis as maintaining chickens has received acceptance.

Hernandez co-wrote a paper with Andrea Ayala, a postdoctoral researcher at Yale University in New Haven, Conn., about how ailments can be spread concerning chickens and wild birds. A short while ago released in the journal Frontiers in Veterinary Science, it outlined techniques yard rooster homeowners can preserve their flock, wild birds and themselves protected.

The methods contain placing yard rooster feeders the place only chickens can arrive at them and working with mesh to stop wild birds from coming into get hold of with chickens and their coops. The authors also advise obtaining rid of wild chook feeders and removing contaminated h2o sources, insects and rodents. They said it’s also essential to manage excellent cleanliness, such as changing footwear when traveling to distinct flocks and limiting website visitors.


In the information release, Ayala pointed out that, “as backyard chickens become more frequent, the interactions amongst wild birds and backyard chickens are also possible to maximize. Wild birds are captivated to meals, water and shelter, and backyard chickens provide all a few.”

Extra info

The U.S. Centers for Illness Command and Prevention has additional on backyard poultry.

Source: College of Georgia, information launch, March 2, 2021