Chickens and other poultry are colorful and delightful additions to any backyard. Their antics are amusing; they readily interact with their human caretakers and lay edible ovals called eggs. But backyard poultry flocks, raised lovingly by urban and suburban hobbyists, have been recently cited as the cause of several pathogenic outbreaks by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).
Here's some advice for you ambitious urban cowboys out there: Wash your hands after you touch your chickens. Cook your eggs thoroughly. And be on the lookout for predators.
Spoiler Alert: If you love fried chicken, and knowing that pigs are intelligent interferes with your love of bacon, do not read this. “ … Chickens are misperceived as lacking most of the psychological characteristics we recognize in other intelligent animals and are typically thought of as possessing a low level of intelligence compared with other animals.”