Tips for safely handling live poultry

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Organization: Public Health Agency of Canada

Date published: ####

Raising your own poultry can have many benefits, including providing local healthy food.  But even healthy and clean birds often carry germs such as Salmonella. Following these simple tips can help protect you and your family from getting sick.

Keep Poultry Outside

Live poultry and their supplies (e.g.  food, containers) should ideally be kept and cleaned outside of the home, and away from the kitchen and other places where food is made or eaten. Have dedicated footwear and clothing for taking care of your backyard flock and keep these out of the home.


Make sure to wash your hands with soap and water immediately after touching live poultry or anything in their environment. Help kids wash their hands. Use hand sanitizer if you cannot wash right away.


Children under 5 years of age, people with a weakened immune system, pregnant women, or adults 65 years of age and older are at greater risk of more serious illness and should not handle or touch live poultry.


Always watch children if they are around live poultry. Do not let them put birds or their supplies near their face, or eat or drink around them.

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