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KayDee Gilkey Use Common Sense and Caution When Allowing Youngsters Handle Baby Chicks
by KayDee Gilkey, click here for bio

Program: Farm and Ranch Report
Date: April 13, 2017

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Parents are advised this Easter holiday season to use common sense and caution when it comes to letting youngsters handle baby poultry. Fluffy newborn chicks may be adorable, but handling the traditional Easter holiday icon can also lead to infectious disease, according to State Veterinarian Dr. Brad LeaMaster of the Oregon Department of Agriculture:

LeaMaster:  “You know, there’s nothing cuter than a baby chick or a baby duckling. Young children like to hold them and cuddle them and put them close to their face. That’s a no-no.”  

Baby chicks are sometimes an Easter gift to little kids. LeaMaster says that is something not recommended. Nonetheless, chicks may be purchased right now to either add to or start a backyard flock. That decision should be well thought out:

LeaMaster:  “Gosh, if you are taking on the responsibility of ownership, take it seriously. So make sure you have the area, the space for the birds. Those birds require attention and care everyday.”  

Owning backyard birds makes consideration and caution a year round affair, not just at Easter. Sanitation is a key. Clean pens, clean water, and clean feed are important to the bird. But for family members, especially children, washing hands before and after handling poultry is very important.

LeaMaster asks parents to resist the urge to buy baby poultry as a gift for kids at Easter. he says those baby chick you bring home today won’t always be that adorable, fuzzy little bird. That’s something to take into consideration.

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