Diapers for chickens: Yes, it’s a thing

They don’t exactly look like diapers, at least not the kind human babies wear. These diapers are more like overalls, and come in fun prints and colors, like with crouching cartoon froggies and stripes.

These diapers are for chickens, and as the backyard chicken movement grows, so too does the market for these poultry Pampers. They’re marketed for chicken raisers who want to bring birds indoors while protecting their floors, furniture, and well, everything from chicken defecation.

Online retailers and craftspeople are reporting steep profits on the garments, which are usually hand-sewn and designed by individual sellers. They often come with removable liners to keep cleanup simple or are resistant to moisture. Some even have ribbons, frilly edges or metal rings for attaching leashes.

It might seem silly to some, but there are a few reasons why chickens might come inside. One online retailer notes that sometimes injured birds need to recuperate indoors, or kept inside temporarily if they’re being too aggressive with other chickens. In other cases, show birds need to be held in quarantine before and after events to help prevent the spread of disease. There may be instances where chickens need to be transported in a car. And with the frequency at which chickens, shall we put it politely, use the bathroom, a diaper can be an easy solution for avoiding a mess.

Chicken diapers aren’t just a matter of cleanliness or even avian fashion. Salmonella is a big concern with chickens. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in 2016, a record number of human illnesses were connected to backyard poultry. Nearly 900 cases were reported between January and September of that year.

The bacteria may be present in the birds’ droppings, or on their feathers, beak and feet. If owners aren’t careful, they might introduce the bacteria to their own bodies when sharing close quarters with their chickens. To prevent the spread of Salmonella and any other pathogen, the CDC recommends the following:

  • Always, always, always wash hands thoroughly after handling live poultry or touching anything in their living environment.
  • Keep kids under age 5, elderly persons and anyone else with a weaker immune system away from live poultry. Young children are prone to putting anything they come across in their mouth — not good.
  • When handling live poultry, wear gloves. No matter how much you love them, don’t kiss or cuddle the birds or bring them near your mouth in any way. Just blow your little buddies a kiss from afar.

Neogen offers a wide variety of animal safety products to keep poultry healthy and their living spaces clean.

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