You heard me. THINK TWICE. There is more than just buying chicks and getting all the things ready to bring those chicks home from the feed store. Did you know that you can get sick from breathing in the spores from their poop?! There is a reason why those of us who continuously raise chicks don’t do it in our homes!
We have brooder houses, barns, designated areas that are outside of our houses, for our chicks to live! One set of chicks in your house, the odds are probably in your favor, but if this is a hobby you think you are going to continue, you need to look into a real setup, outside.
The first summer hatching, we had a bunch of chicks in the master bathroom and my pops said, “you know I got real sick as a boy, those chickens in the house are dangerous.” I had no idea. I immediately looked it up. Instantly found out we were in fact putting everyone at risk for a lung infection caused by a fungus called histoplasma capsulatum. This fungus is spores found in bird poop. It is most often found in the soil that contains droppings from birds or bats. When these spores become airborne – as they often do with active and flighty chicks, they can be inhaled by their human caretakers and cause infection.
Histoplasmosis can cause flu-like symptoms such as fevers, coughs, and chest pain. This can be especially dangerous for people with compromised immune systems. If someone in your home is immunocompromised – maybe you shouldn’t bring those chicks home. Find a friend to raise chicks for you, and bring them home when they can be off heat. Or find a farmer that is selling pullets that are just about at point of lay. There are plenty of options for you, even if you still want some backyard chickens.
Stay healthy out there, chicken lovers!