Raising chickens around children: what’s the actual risk?

January 24, 2019 | By alex | Filed in: How to Raise Chickens Some Questions and Answers.

Raising chickens and ducks in classrooms isn’t a new trend – actually, raising chicken in preschools continues to be happening for a long time, so far as we are able to tell. A brand new condition health rule in Colorado, however, bans chicken from classrooms with preschool aged children according to anxiety about communicable illnesses, particularly salmonella. Precisely how legitimate is the fact that fear, though?

Kodo happens to be keen on chickens – a number of our employees even bring them up aware of their own families! We have confidence in letting children get dirty and hands-up with our natural world and it is creatures great and small. Basically we believe that bumps, bruises, and crawled knees really are a regular a part of childhood, we all do go ahead and take safe practices in our children seriously. So, we made the decision to do your homework round the issue of chickens in classrooms to determine if there truly is really a legitimate need to ban our youngest learners from a number of nature’s finest teachers.


Photo by Abigail Batchelder – Flickr, CC by 2.

The Advantages to Raising Chickens at Preschools:

Let’s start by exploring why this really is something all of us should even worry about – what variations are chickens making inside your child’s educational experience? First, there’s the chance for kids to create connections with this natural world. Many children in urban and suburban settings aren’t uncovered to nature about this level. It may also help children understand where our food originates from. A couple of several weeks back we explored the significance of teaching children where food originates from, a publish which was inspired with a child’s answer of “the supermarket” when requested where apples originate from.

Outdoors from the practical way of understanding where our food originates from, children may study concerning the following using their feathered buddies:

  • Our relationship with this planet and all sorts of its occupants
  • Respect for other living creatures
  • Empathy through taking care of another living factor
  • The connections within our natural world between plants, creatures, and individuals
  • Practice overcoming anxieties, especially animal-related anxieties
  • Responsibility – feeding schedules, collecting eggs, keeping chickens safe
  • Animal kindness and the opportunity to identify and prevent animal cruelty
  • The existence cycle observations from egg to chick to chicken

The question to reply to is whether or not the advantages over-shadow the potential risks, and to do this we have to define exactly what the risks are.

Identifying the potential risks:

The main concern from the Colorado Department of Public Health insurance and Atmosphere relates to communicable illnesses spread by chickens, mainly salmonella. While it is true that youngsters under 5 tend to be more in danger to contract salmonella than older kids are, the only method to get salmonella (short from eating contaminated foods, unrelated towards the question at hands), comes from contaminated hands contacting mouths. Obviously, everyone knows that youthful children love putting their hands near their faces, so you can easily observe how one might jump towards the conclusion that we have to keep children from chickens for safety reasons.

These details, however, will make you think hard concerning the weight of those risks:

  • Since 1990, there’ve only been 53 outbreaks of salmonella across the country (~2 each year), leading to only 5 deaths, or, .002% of illnesses resulting in dying.
  • Further, an American’s current likelihood of getting sick because of salmonella contracted from interactions with live chicken is .000054%. Their chance of being hospitalized or suffering a fatality consequently is less.
  • Other creatures vulnerable to transporting salmonella haven’t been considered unsafe for classrooms, including gerbils, hamsters, rodents, other wild birds, as well as fish.
  • Many foods will also be able to distributing salmonella and still offered in children’s classrooms, including fruits, peppers, nuts, and, obviously, chicken (from the eating variety).

Risk Minimization:

So yes, there’s risk connected with raising chickens around children, however the risk is very small , easy to mitigate. As the only method a young child would contact salmonella from the live chicken could be directly ingesting feces that got onto their hands (gross, but technically true), being diligent about hands-washing, careful chicken handling, and separating chickens from places that you consume should suffice to keep salmonella away.

Here are a few easy steps that may be come to eliminate chance of salmonella:

  • Establish classroom rules before presenting children to chickens, and also have the rules published in visible areas during your preschool.
  • Make certain children understand they have to wash their hands with soap after any connection with chickens, chicken related products (coop, eggs, feeders, toys, etc.), and they mustn’t hug chickens or nuzzle chickens near to their faces.
  • For added precaution, mitts could be needed when handling chickens and/or fresh eggs
  • Eggs employed for cooking ought to be completely washed before children use these questions cooking project, as eggshells may carry salmonella too
  • Keep chickens from any eating spaces, for example outside picnic tables.
  • Supervise kids with chickens whatsoever occasions. Do not let use of chickens when no adult exists.
  • Come with an adult supervise publish-chicken hands washing before you are certain that youngsters are using water and soap and carrying out a thorough job.


Because of the evidence and the simplicity of risk minimization, Kodo supports raising chickens in preschools and settings with youthful children, given proper safety procedures have established yourself. We’ve selected to sign a petition on change.org to include our voice towards the growing amount of people searching to revoke the ban on chicken in Colorado preschools. If you would like to sign the petition, in order to find even more sources concerning the issue, that can be done in the change.org petition page.

So, what is your opinion? Will you be worried about chickens inside your child’s preschool? Tell us within the comments section below. Every opinion is valued and attentively considered, and we’d prefer to hear yours!

Sources and much more Information:

Classroom Embryology Projects: Health Risks Myths and Details

Change.org Chicken Petition


Article: Chickens Face Eviction from Colorado Preschools

Colorado Department of Public Health insurance and Atmosphere 6 CCR 1010-7

Resourse: http://kodokids.org/raising-chickens-around-children/

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