Pet chicks and ducklings seem unlikely culprits in a serious public health problem. But they’re responsible for infecting more than 900 people with salmonella this year — the highest number to date, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The agency is investigating multistate outbreaks of salmonella infections linked to people who keep poultry in their backyards. As the local-food movement grows across the nation, more people are raising chickens, ducks and other birds. But along with the benefits of connecting with nature and easy access to fresh eggs comes the risk of disease.