Salmonella infection (salmonellosis) is a common bacterial disease that affects the intestinal tract. Salmonella bacteria typically live in animal and human intestines and are shed through feces. Humans become infected most frequently through contaminated water or food. The Center for Disease Control notes that people can get sick from Salmonella simply from touching poultry or the birds’ environment, even if the birds appear healthy and clean.
Symptoms of Salmonella poisoning usually begin 12-72 hours after infection. Diarrhea, abdominal cramping, and fever are common symptoms. The diarrhea is typically loose and not bloody. Nausea, vomiting, headache, and muscle aches may occur. Luckily for us, the Center for Disease Control has come up with a handy list of safe-handling trips to avoid this issue with your backyard layers!
Egg shells may become contaminated with Salmonella from poultry droppings (poop) or the area where they are laid. To keep your family healthy, follow the tips below when collecting and handling eggs from a backyard flock: