I have family members who have a small farm. They absolutely adore their chickens like you would a dog. It is completely adorable, but a little risky considering that backyard chickens are to blame for a salmonella outbreaks, according to news sources.

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The Tyler Morning Telegraph reported that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed eight separate salmonella outbreaks linked to contact with people who own chickens as pets. More than 370 people have become sick and 71 have been hospitalized.

The best offense from salmonella is pretty simple is to keep your hands clean. Wash your hands and wash them often especially when handling fresh eggs. However, do not was the eggs. If you wash fresh eggs with cold water the bacteria that is on the outside of the eggs will move within the egg. Just brush them off. They will be fine.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggest not letting grandma or the kids touch the chickens. They are more likely to get sick.