This July, the CDC reported 611 cases of salmonella infections, 138 hospitalizations, and one death, linked outbreaks directly to contact with live poultry from hatcheries and affected backyard flocks. According to the CDC, 32 percent of those infected were children 5-years-old or younger; this suggests that the issue is related to hygiene. Many of these infections could have been prevented simply by washing hands and changing shoes and clothes after handling chicks, chickens, and eggs.
Homesteading and backyard coops have risen in popularity in recent years, but many people don't know that chickens are natural carriers of salmonella. Chickens don't show signs of infection, as it is part of their natural flora. Chickens can carry up to 2,000 types of salmonella that make people ill. Backyard poultry farmers can curtail salmonella infection in a variety of ways:
- Thoroughly wash hands with soap and warm water after tending the coop or touching birds/eggs
- Don't share equipment with other flocks without first cleaning thoroughly
- Change clothes and shoes after visiting the coop
- Purchase birds from a reputable breeder (look for certification through the National Poultry Improvement Plan)
CitroBio is a citrus extract wash that can be used in place of harsh chemicals throughout the poultry raising and egg producing processes to control salmonella and other harmful pathogens. CitroBio can be used to clean incubators, coops and eggs, to add to feed and watering systems, during slaughtering, and to control airborne bacteria.