Chicken farming becoming a new hobby due to COVID-19

Published: Jul. 16, 2020 at 7:17 PM EDT
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HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) -With more people spending time at home during COVID-19, more hobbies are being explored and raising backyard chickens is one of them.

“We’ve definitely seen an increase in need and supply. We’ve seen a new wave of customers coming through asking about it because they’ve been interested in what it takes. Is it really labor intensive? Can they undertake it you know in the time frame they are thinking,” said Jessoca Flugel, store manager at Rockingham Cooperative.

Experts say there are some safety rules that people need to keep in mind.

“One of the biggest concerns... actually the CDC has put out some guidance on this is salmonella,” said Jessica Walters, poultry diagnostician at the Virginia Department of Agriculture.

Walters said many people don’t realize they can get sick if they don’t handle the birds properly.

“What tends to happen is that people will tend to hold these birds especially when they cuddle baby chicks. They tend to get some of that fecal material either from the birds feet or the birds feather,” said Walters.

Walters also said birds love to hang around in a dirty environment so make sure you and your kids wash your hands before and after handling chickens.

If you are one of these people that developed a hobby of raising backyard chickens, you’re going to want to check CDC guidelines to protect yourself from anything that chickens may carry.

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