Safe Handling of Poultry and Other Animals

Published 3:53 pm Friday, May 20, 2022

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By Levi Berg 

Agriculture and Natural Resources  

Clark County Extension Office

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Most times when we hear about safe handling of livestock, we think about the safety of the animals. However, many times we don’t think about our own safety in regards to diseases, bacteria, and such. Livestock such as poultry, horses, ruminants, and others have digestive systems that can convert forages into usable nutrients, and this is possible because of bacteria, fungi, and protozoa living in the intestinal tracts of those animals. These microorganisms breakdown complex plant material such as cellulose into high energy compounds, and use those compounds for growth, lactation, or gestation.

However, it is easy for these microorganisms to be passed through the animal’s intestinal tract, and can be found in the animal’s manure.

Manure from livestock and other animals can contain some nasty microorganisms that can cause serious infections in humans, and can cause extreme ailments. The outbreaks of salmonella is a harsh reminder of how easy these ailments can happen. The salmonella outbreaks happened because individuals were not using proper personal hygiene, and were snuggling and kissing their backyard

poultry friends. Numerous diseases like salmonella are easily transmitted to humans through contact with fecal matter, and fecal matter could be hanging on the animal’s hair, fur, feathers, feet, and many more areas. If handling animals, be sure to use proper personal hygiene after handling your animals, and sanitize your hands to kill bacteria.

The easiest way to protect yourself is to wash your hands, and prevent animal fecal matter from touching your skin, mouth, and eyes. This means that washing your hands is extremely important, and make sure to wash your hands for at least 20 seconds with soup. While washing your hands, be sure to wash each part of your hands from under finger nails to your wrists. Every inch of your hands need to be washed. If running water isn’t present, use an antibacterial hand sanitizer or wipes. This will at least give you a good chance of killing potential harmful bacteria. Also, children should always be monitored while they are around animals. As many of us know, children love to put anything and everything is their mouths, and that is an extremely easy way for kids to contract certain diseases.

I understand everyone loves their animals and livestock, but be sure to protect yourself.

Personal hygiene is easy and can prevent you from obtaining a nasty disease caused by bacteria. Also, be sure to monitor children around animals because most bacterial infection cases are children, so be safe by washing yours and your children’s hands. Information was obtained from Jacqueline Jacob, UK Extension Poultry Project Manager.

Adult Hook and Cook

Have you been interested in learning how to fish, but felt unsure about which gear to use, where to go, how to tie a fishing knot, or how to clean your catch? This is your chance! At the Adult Hook and Cook on June 4th, 2022, you will have the opportunity to learn about fishing gear, how to tie fishing knots, regulations about fishing, how to fillet your catch, cook your catch, and finally, be able to fish with a mentor. All fishing gear will be provided. If interested, reserve your spot at the Clark County Extension Office at 859-744-4682. Space is limited, so do not wait!