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Keep yourself and your family safe

Did you know that even healthy birds, their eggs, and meat can all be sources of bacteria that can make you sick? With some basic hygiene and handling practices, you and your family can care for your birds safely. All live poultry can carry harmful bacteria. These bacteria can spread to you from a bird, its droppings, or anywhere the bird or its droppings have been – including children's toys and equipment. Children under 5, the elderly, and people with weakened immune systems are more at risk. They should avoid contact with live poultry as much as possible.

Tips for safe handling of chicks and live poultry


  • Wash your hands with soap and water right after touching your birds or anywhere they've been. Use hand sanitizer until you have access to soap and water.
  • Adults should help children wash hands.
  • Don't nuzzle or kiss your birds. Don't touch your face or eat or drink around live poultry.
  • Keep your birds as well as equipment used when caring for birds outside your living space, as well as clothing, footwear, and equipment used when caring for your birds.
  • Purchase your chicks from a registered, health-monitored hatchery.
  • Alberta Goverment Tips for small-flock poultry owners.