As more and more people construct both expensive and make-shift chicken coops in their backyards, the CDC is reminding us that both chickens and ducks spend a lot of time wallowing in poop.

News making the rounds this week tell us that so far this year, 212 cases of Salmonella have been reported nationwide, including one here in Maine.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention informs us that Salmonella germs can be picked up just by walking into a chicken's environment and by touching something like a water dish, a gate, bedding, and certainly by cuddling and kissing the bird itself.  These germs quickly make their way to your mouth and eyes by touch, which is why kids will develop sickness so fast.

Signs of Salmonella are:  Vomiting, diarrhea, cramps and fever.  Sometimes people end up in the hospital, especially those that are very young and very old,

So quit kissing the bird and wash your hands really well when you're done working out there in the coop! Leave your shoes outside the home. Don't let chickens into your home! And, if you're planning on visiting the farm area at one of Maine's fantastic fairs, then bring along hand sanitizer with you and then use it before you tear into that doughboy!