New poultry license available for City of Eau Claire residents

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EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (RELEASE) -- City Council recently passed an ordinance allowing City of Eau Claire residents to keep up to five female chickens or quail on their property. (Roosters aren’t allowed.) Residents must get a license from the City of Eau Claire and follow all ordinance requirements.

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The ordinance allows residents to have access to homegrown eggs and meat. “Keeping poultry may be fun and educational. However, poultry owners should be aware that homegrown eggs and meat may carry germs that can make people sick,” says Jennifer Hanson, Environmental Health Specialist.

It’s normal for chickens, especially young chickens, to carry salmonella. Salmonella is a type of bacteria that can cause flu-like symptoms. It can spread easily between chickens and people. Even chickens that look healthy and clean may spread salmonella to people by touching them with their feathers, beaks, and feet. Salmonella can also spread to people through cages, coops, hay, plants, and soil in the area where the chickens live.

Protect yourself and your family from salmonella:

• Always wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water after handling poultry, cleaning coops, or touching anything in poultry enclosures.

• Don’t bring poultry inside your home, garage, screened patios, or other structures.

• Don’t snuggle, kiss, or touch your mouth to poultry.

• Have a pair of shoes that you wear only while taking care of poultry. Keep those shoes outside of the house.

• Always supervise children when they are handling poultry.

• Make sure that children and anyone who is visiting your home follow these rules as well.

For more information about poultry keeping, health concerns, or to apply for a license call the Eau Claire City-County Health Department 715-839-4718.