Cute birds sicken 39 with salmonella in 15 states

Baby chicks and ducklings may be fun to play with, especially for little kids, but they are also sources of salmonella.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control reports that 39 people –almost half children under 5-years-old – have been sickened with Salmonella Altona from handling chicks or ducklings, that have been traced back to the same mail-order hatchery in Ohio.

Reuters reported the implicated business was Mt. Healthy Hatchery, which supplies chicks and ducklings to an unnamed nationwide agricultural feedstore.

CDC reports among the persons with dates available, illnesses began between February 25, 2011 and May 23, 2011. Infected individuals range in age from less than one-year-old to 86-years-old and 44 percent of ill persons are 5 years of age or younger.

The complete CDC investigation update is available at