Safe Handling of Poultry

When receiving your Poultry please be aware, it is important to care for your poultry, but you must also protect yourself from potentially harmful micro-organisms, germs (including salmonella) and bacteria by direct contact with poultry and livestock.

- DO supervise children when handling poultry and ensure hand washing after contact.
- DO carefully and thoroughly wash your hands with soap and hot water after handling poultry and anything in the area where they live and roam (if soap and water are not available use hand sanitizer).
- KEEP poultry outside, and especially out of areas where food and drink is prepared, served or stored. Also keep out of bathrooms.
- DO NOT nuzzle, snuggle or kiss your livestock or poultry.
- DO NOT let children less than 5 year of age, elderly and people with weakened immune systems handle or touch livestock including poultry.
- Contact with live poultry (chicks, chickens, ducklings, ducks, goslings, geese and turkeys) can be a source of human Salmonella infections.
- Salmonella germs are shed in their droppings and can easily contaminate their bodies and anything in areas where birds live and roam.
- Chicks, ducklings, and other poultry can carry Salmonella germs and still appear healthy and clean.
- Salmonella germs can cause a diarrheal illness in people that can be mild, severe, or even life threatening.

Project Challenges

  • Brooder Space/Heat:
    Day old poultry should be started in a proper space such a barn, out-building, basement, poultry coop or garage. It is important to make sure your brooder space is clean and disinfected prior to using it, especially if poultry have been kept there before. Whether you have them on bedding or on a wire floor, there should be some type of solid wall or partition around them to prevent drafts. Make sure dogs, cats and rodents are kept out. Initially each poult needs about 1/3 square foot of pen space. What works best for larger areas is a brooder ring of cardboard 18 inches high with a heat lamp hung over the center of the area.

  • Bedding:
    Use 2 to 4 inches of dry litter, such as pine wood shavings, chopped straw or other appropriate bedding. Do not use newspaper or other slick material, this can cause legs to slip out from underneath them and cause serious leg problems. We also don't advise using cedar chips, treated shavings, large thick wood chips or dusty sawdust as bedding.

  • Water:
    Make sure you provide plenty of containers of water based on amount of poultry. Use one one-gallon chick water for 25 chicks. Provide room temperature water. Wash & clean the containers every few days. We recommend adding our Streseez Plus (1 teaspoon per three gallons of water) to their drinking water.

  • Feed:
    Use a Chick starter. Protein should be at least 24 percent for starter and fed for the first five weeks. After five weeks, you can switch to a grower feed with to 20 percent protein. (Brands of feed may vary, you can ask your local feed dealer for recommendations).

Contact Us for more Poultry Care Tips on temperature and hmidity values.