July 16, 2015

The Centers for Disease Control tells backyard chicken owners to quit kissing and snuggling their chickens.

Based on 180 cases of salmonella in the U.S. this year from backyard poultry.
"This is my favorite, Caledonia," Lynette Mattke says as she holds a sturdy, black and white Barred Rock hen. "I think she's the prettiest, too.... You see Caledonia, she just cuddles in. She loves to stick her head under my arm... Our friends who come to visit [the chickens] are always so surprised at how soft they are. Because I guess people think about their beaks and their feet, which aren't soft. But their feathers are just so smooth and soft."
Smooth and soft... and disease-vector-y.

25 comments:

mccullough said...

And wear a condom

Bob Ellison said...

And alpacas. Just don't go there.

jimbino said...

The dog transmits over 45 zoonoses. So does the cat. Both make irritating noises and lick filthy things before licking you. The chicken makes eggs and you can eat the meat. Now that we recognize them as cuddly, we should prohibit keeping cats and dogs.

Sigivald said...

Livestock aren't pets, hippies.

Anonymous said...

And when you put that cute little zen fountain and pond in your backyard you're not only going to have to shut it down for drought reasons, you're going to have to deal with the mosquito control people coming out to check it once a month.

Scott said...

This means Peter Singer has to use a condom now.

gerry said...

I had a pet Bantam hen as a pet. I'd go into the back yard with a spade and she come running because she knew I was going dig for worms. She used to fall asleep on my stomach when I was sunbathing. I actually have a picture of that. She slept in a little doghouse coop outside.

The eggs were really small and delicious.

I never got sick. But that's one chicken. When you've ten, it's a mess.

Eustace Chilke said...

I think there's a large difference between a chicken house and a house chicken. I've got a dog on the house but no chickens need apply. Even if the difference is less than I think, I ain't kissing no chicken. I'm probably a chicken bigot.

Smilin' Jack said...

The dog transmits over 45 zoonoses. So does the cat. Both make irritating noises and lick filthy things before licking you. The chicken makes eggs and you can eat the meat. Now that we recognize them as cuddly, we should prohibit keeping cats and dogs.

And women.

Bob R said...

We raised chickens for a while when I was a kid. They were delicious and the eggs were great (if expensive) but they were the most vile, mean tempered animals I've ever had contact with. The moral equivalent of a cockroach. Anyone who cuddles one deserves what they get.

BarrySanders20 said...

Hens are OK. Roosters are assholes.

Alexander said...

As much as I like the idea of telling hippies that they are being idiots...

I'm betting this is just a test shot at where the next outrage in public health will come from. As long as people focus on the California liberal hipster or the Appalachian red-neck hermit and how they're refusing vaccinations or living among chickens, then we can conveniently ignore the unchecked hordes coughing their way over the border.

Because it certainly can't be a genuine concern for health. I am not going to believe that the federal government is wringing its hands over 200 cases of salmonella while it simultaneously ships 3rd world orphan refugees all over the country and has no method of checking international travelers, legal or otherwise (it's not like we need to wait for another Ebola scare to recognize that Africa isn't exactly up-and-up on its public health).

gerry said...

I'm probably a chicken bigot.

MMmmm good! A bigot of chicken!

gerry said...

Oh, and if you hate chicks, does that make you gay?

Alexander said...

Not that there's anything wrong with that.

pdug said...

From This American Life #456 Reap What you Sow. More at the link

http://www.thisamericanlife.org/radio-archives/episode/456/transcript

"And Blanco and I, we start talking and hanging out. And we had some beers afterwards. And I come up with this idea. I said, you know what would really be great to make this yard complete? Chickens. We should get some chickens.

I said, I'm done paying for eggs. That's a major expense in my life, eggs. And he was like, yeah, man. I'm in! Let's get some chickens! Let's do this!

So he goes, where are we going to get chickens? And I said, live poultry shop. I see them all over. We could go to a live poultry shop. We'll get some chickens.

So we venture out to find a live poultry shop, Blanco and I. And we find one. And it's run by an Arabic dude. And we go in, and we go, hi. Yeah, we'd like to get some chickens. And we'd like to take 'em to go, alive.

And the guy goes, my friend, we don't sell live chickens. It's not legal. We only weigh and fillet. And I'm like, well, just weigh and don't fillet. And he's like, no, fillet and weigh. Only fillet and weigh. And I'm going, weigh and don't fillet. And Blanco's just like, [BLEEP] this. We're going to steal a chicken.

...

it was. It was a beaut-- I don't know if you've ever seen a rooster up close. They are beautiful animals. So we start talking. We're like, yeah, I guess we need a rooster to make these eggs happen. So we should take a rooster.

Which is actually completely wrong, we found out, because the roosters really fertilize the eggs. And then they're completely inedible. But we didn't know that. So we're like, yeah, we'll take that rooster. Let's go.

And so we got this chicken and this rooster. And we're walking down Grand Street. And we feel like $1 million. We're like, we are going to change our lives. We're going to be eating fresh eggs.

We get fancy. We start talking. We're like, yo, man. These hipsters are gonna be coming, knocking on our door. Organic eggs. We're gonna make a lot of money off this [BLEEP].

So we're walking with these chickens. And we bring them home. What we didn't realize is we bought an old chicken, which was postmenopausal and had stopped laying eggs. It was at that point.

And the rooster, from being in a dark, enclosed space for so long, had no concept of time according to the sun. It had a broken internal clock. So this rooster's, like, going off at all times, 5:00 in the morning, 3:00 in the afternoon, 8:00 in the eve-- just times you're like, really? Now, you're going off?

But we loved this chicken and the rooster. We named the rooster Juanito. And the chicken was Dona. And the rooster's real smart. And they start sitting at my window or Blanco's window, depending on who's home when they're hungry, and even tapping with their little, scratchy claws.

So we start really falling in love with these chickens. And Blanco and Juanito start getting pretty close. Juanito's kind of learning his name. He'll be like, Juanito, Juanito! And he'd start running up on him."

pdug said...

But they end up getting fined....

"At first, he's like, look, we split it $1,000 each on the fine. I'm like, you don't have $1,000. And I don't have $1,000. He's like, I'll double up on tattoos. We're gonna do it. I'm like, we're just going to keep getting hit with more and more fines. We've got to get rid of this rooster.

He's like, I can't see anything happen to Juanito, man. I can't see it happen. I'm like, look, I'll deal with this. I'm going to get this done humanely. Nothing's going to happen. We'll find a place.

So I start calling farms. And it's, like, two days till D-day. We have to get rid of the rooster, or we get hit with a fine.

And I figured I only have one option. And that is a drop-and-run. And a drop-and-run is exactly what it sounds like. It's me going to a farm and dropping the rooster and then running.

And I said, Blanco, you down to do this with me? I scouted out a good farm. We could do this. It's a humane farm. It's a petting zoo. They've got a pumpkin patch and kids.

And he goes, it's too painful for me, man. You gotta do it on your own. You gotta to do it. I can't do it. I can't see Juanito go.

And the day comes for me to do this drop-and-run. And I remember Blanco sitting on the stoop, holding Juanito. And he is crying like I never saw him cry. He is bawling.

He's kissing Juanito. He's like, my little dude. I hate to see you go. And I'm like, I gotta take him now.

The neighborhood perceived them both to be loud and annoying, and wanted them out of there. But if you got to know them, they're really pretty good dudes, you know? And I think it bothered him that there was really just nobody that would stick up for this innocent rooster. Thank you very much."

T Rellis said...

Chickens are fairly nasty. I'd say that when we had ten, I'd say that now with over one hundred. They will eat literally anything. Dog shit, pig shit and dead shit. BUT

The useful egg laying lifetime of a hen can net you over $300 in eggs for just that one bird, so I put up with them.

dustbunny said...

I have chickens but can't imagine cuddling them! For one thing they are extremely hard to catch and it's true they will eat anything. Once something killed a hen and I found the others happily chewing away on her carcass.

MadisonMan said...

How surprising (not) that no men are quoted in that article.

Big Mike said...

It's those chicken lips, man, they are utterly irresistible to a certain kind of woman.

JCC said...

She lives on a ¼ acre and has chickens? Bet the neighbors love her ass. Especially at 5:00 AM when the roosters won't shut up, or when the wind blows their way. Doesn't surprise me she kisses them too. Probably married to her cousin and thinks vaccines cause birth defects.

I'd probably be trapping all kinds of things and chucking them over the fence. Or moving.

Bob Ellison said...

We have two emus now. They have feet like velociraptors. My wife is crazy.

Joe said...

The only touching which should be done with chickens is to grab them by the neck and snap it. Chickens are made for eating, not snuggling.

mikee said...

A college friend who raised a quail as a pet trained it to cuddle down on her head in her thick, luxurious hair.

Other than the quail droppings in her hair, it was quite cute.

She didn't mind the quail droppings. Just let them fall where they wanted, and left them in her hair for hours, even after the quail was removed from her head.

She wasn't invited to parties at any given address more than once.

A woman I know who loved to kiss her doggy on the lips kept getting worms. Unexpectedly.

Different people, different ways.