How’s this for timing? As I was writing the post below, my youngest daughter walked in the door and said “a chick pooped on me today.

It wasn’t a total surprise since I’d heard a vague statement from her about maybe having chicks in the class for the end of the year.

Is

Lots of media reports have been saying that the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have warned people not to dress up their chickens for Halloween.

  • Yes, chickens.

I wouldn’t have thought that policing chicken fashion would be high on the CDC’s to-do list, but the concern is obviously related to the perpetual

Backyard chickensThe backyard poultry debate continues in many areas. It raised is head again in Guelph recently, with more city government debate about how far you have to keep your backyard chickens from your neighbours. There are a number of issues to consider, like potential for spread of zoonotic bacteria (e.g. Salmonella), avian flu, noise,

feeding-the-chickenUrban chickens continue to be in the news, with debate about instituting (or enforcing) bylaws banning or restricting the raising of chickens in backyards running next to articles on how to raise your own backyard flock.

People have various concerns, including:

  • Noise
  • Attracting wildlife, including predators such as coyotes
  • Smell
  • Infectious diseases
  • Animal welfare

But

ChickenThere are very few absolutes with infectious diseases. The minute we think we are sure about something, a new angle becomes apparent.

Regarding rabies, we always say that its host range is mammals, but basically only mammals.

Maybe not.

There have been occasional (poorly corroborated) reports about rabies in birds, but when I first read

“Seek and you shall find.”

That might be the simple explanation for why we’re hearing more about spillover of different types of flu viruses into dogs. Sporadic reports of dogs being infected by different flu viruses keep coming in these days, maybe we didn’t get this reports in the past because people just often didn’t

As fall fair season starts, concerns about petting zoo outbreaks rise. While deficiencies are still common, petting zoos seem to be getting better with their infection control measures. People too are starting to get better at doing what their asked to do – namely washing their hands after visiting these exhibits. However, as we’ve shown