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neighbors chicken coop

Dec 28, 2001

Woke up Christmas morning to find that the neighbors have installed a coop with 5 chickens next to our fence. How much danger are we in for exposure to Mycobacterium Avium infection and toxoplasmosis? I know this sounds strange, but this is a serious question--I'm writing a letter to request them to move it to the other side of the yard.

Response from Dr. Pavia

The good news is that chickens do not carry toxoplasmosis, and probably do not increase your risk of exposure to M. avium over drinking the water and being around the soil. There is no major risk of airborne exposure to chickens of which I am aware.

The bad news about chickens has to do with Salmonella and Campylobacter. Many chickens carry these organisms and excrete them in their, well, you know, their chicken sh*t.

Whether this poses any risk to you would depend on whether there is anyway you are likely to have exposure to their droppings in your food. For instance, if your vegetable garden is below their coop, that could pose a risk.

Good luck


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