Any ideas why?

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by Rita, Apr 5, 2005.

  1. Rita

    Rita Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Upon reading about the dozens of kids sickened from touching animals at a FL petting zoo, I am wondering why farmers' children aren't dropping like flies from being around animals so much. Are these children kept so sterile they have no built-in immunity? Sure would like to hear some theories on this. Rita in TN
     
  2. crashy

    crashy chickaholic goddess

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    I tend to agree with you....most city kids don't get as dirty as our farm kids..they dont play in mud, dirt, chase bugs....I find it really sad. I offered a family to come over and let the kids gather eggs and the dad refused he told me they were city people and were not interested at all. My mouth fell open!!! I told him the sign of a good day is when your kids are dirty and you need to use the bottom of thier shirts to wipe the snot off I thought he would faint LOL....sad how our society has forgotten that getting dirty is fun and even kind of medicinal. I feel sorry for those kids.
     

  3. Windy in Kansas

    Windy in Kansas In Remembrance

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    My theory is that as more and more people distance themselves from germs via hand sanitizers, anti-bacterial soap, etc. the weaker their immune system is to the germs. Once they are exposed, BOOM, they have an illness. Farm kids are exposed to ills in minor doses from the time they are little. City kids on the farm get a previously unexposed to dose that lets them get sick.

    While we all opt for a sparkling clean kitchen, truth be known those living in filth are probably better at fighting off illness because they are exposed to more.

    Just my theory whether right or wrong.
     
  4. januaries

    januaries Well-Known Member

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    Haven't read about the FL children, but my initial thought is that farmers' kids may have a clearer understanding of how to handle animals. I'm thinking of simple things such as "Don't hold the chicken then take your gum out of your mouth to play with it... Wash your hands before you rub your eyes... You can get germs from the stall door..." etc.

    Also, there might be an issue of so many children all together. In a farming household, there may be 3-4 kids and all of them know how to stay healthy around animals. In a classroom, there may be 20 kids and five of them don't listen when the teacher tells them to wash their hands. Then those five spread the germs to the kids who did wash up.
     
  5. mpillow

    mpillow Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I think that it may be the children themselves.....so many parents discard or bury dirty diapers at the beach that its disgusting. Maybe they have a contaminated water fountain....It sounds a little odd to me that its the animals fault..
     
  6. ThreeJane

    ThreeJane Me Love Your Face

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    What I'm bummed about is less that the kids are getting sick and more that they'll likely outlaw petting zoos for our own good.

    Eventually we're going to need permission to own our animals too, because someone *might* get sick in the future.
     
  7. Helena

    Helena Well-Known Member

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    I don't know if it is the need to better teach handwashing to school children or what but I agree with the petting zoos will be a thing of the past. Near where my city sister lives..Valley Forge, PA..there was a dairy that sold bottled milk. Not anything different than you buy in the local supermarkets but everyone thought it was great to see the cows when you bought your milk. They had a small zoo there for the children with handwashing basin available and all. Well a day care group came and children did get really sick and they traced it back to the animals and the kids and with the law suits and all the farm had to close down. Just recently there was a petition to allow a petting zoo in our area at a fair type of event. I don't know yet if it was going to pass but I doubt it will be available for children. About outlawing animals for our own good I mentioned on the forum a couple of weeks ago about the PA agriculture people sending a cenus out to us to fill out to tell them what we raise on our little..not a farm by any shape or form..homestead. They wanted to know because of health issue..such as the mad cow disease etc..and if there were ever any event of an illness they would be able to "help" all of us in finding the sick animals. Had to send a map back with an "X" on the road where we live..Needless to say, we didn't do it..but eventually it will be madatory for everyone or..else :no: And my family is wondering why I am now reading Mien Kampe by no other than Hitler. This book actually give me the creeps to read..but does make for very interesting reading..ever wonder how and why Germany got to the stage that they were at..perhaps it all started with the doing away of ...petting zoos ??!! :no: ( a little far fetched and off the subject but you all get the idea)
     
  8. kppop

    kppop Well-Known Member

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    Good handwashing is the key to stop the spread of germs. Most ppl have no clue how to wash their hands and think a quick rub with soap and some cold water will do the trick.I teach my children to count to 60 while washing hands and to interlock fingers while washing and to make sure they soap to the wrist...it looks like we are gearing up for surgery! LOL I go thru so much hand soap it's not funny! lol We are forever washing our hands..it's just good common sense. I've also taught my children not to touch their faces with their hands..germs will get in thru eyes, nose and mouth. We do use Purell when soap isn't available.

    I don't think it's the animals fault that the children are sick but more the parents who lack the knowledge of good hand washing. They think baby wipes kill germs.

    kppop
     
  9. amelia

    amelia Well-Known Member

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    Here's a question that has stumped me ever since the first big e-coli scare several years ago: Has something changed about the bugs that animals are carrying, or is it more an issue of peoples' immune systems and/or infection control? Have bugs such as e-coli and salmonella become more deadly and virulent?

    Also (as long as I'm on a roll), I've heard that nearly 1 out of 3 packages of chicken you buy in the grocery store is infected with salmonella. I was wondering if chickens raised in a non-factory setting have anywhere near that incidence of disease.
     
  10. Rita

    Rita Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Lots of interesting ideas. Amelia, I think the processing of our meats is the likely problem. Years ago we never worried about whether the chicken or hamburgers were cooked just so, in fact a friend loved raw hamburger sandwiches (steak tartar?) and never got sick. My grandmother never read a canning book and did her canning without all the scary warnings and her l4 children did fine. I think the germs are more virulent now probably from the overuse of antibiotics. It will be shame if children can't get close to farm animals esp. large one such as at County Fairs and I think we have seen the last of petting zoos. Rita
     
  11. Freeholder

    Freeholder Well-Known Member

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    I believe very strongly that the problem with petting zoos is not the animals, but rather that the children exposed to those animals are not regularly around animals (if you have animals at home, do you take your children to petting zoos?). The children who go to petting zoos are usually suburban or urban children, and their access to animals is pretty much limited to house pets. Their mothers have been taught to be paranoid about germs (thus all the antibacterial soaps on the market), and the children have never had much opportunity to challenge their immune systems. I don't believe in evolution, but these families may be candidates for 'Darwin Awards', the spoof awards given to people who remove themselves from the gene pool through their own stupidity. People like that dad Crashy posted about, who didn't want his children to come out to the farm to see the animals, because they were city people!! Or the lady someone posted about several years ago, who didn't care what happened to farmers, because she got her food from the grocery store!! These folks are going to be in for a rude awakening someday, when there is no longer food in the grocery stores, and it becomes a case of grow your own or go without.

    Kathleen
     
  12. susanneb

    susanneb Well-Known Member

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    Regarding petting zoos...in at least one case, the kids were taking their hot dogs and other food right into the pen with them...duhhh. I'd venture that in many cases it's a simple lack of common sense. The Oregon State Fair now posts signs asking people NOT to bring food into the livestock barns.

    As for the increase in e-coli outbreaks, especially with chickens, the overuse of antibiotics in big commercials farms has created increased resistance and made it much more difficult to treat the resulting health problems. It seems that rather than raising chickens in a reasonably clean environment, it's much easier (and more profitable) to raise them in filth and feed them antibiotics.
     
  13. stormwalker

    stormwalker Well-Known Member

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    My understanding is that this is a specific super strain of e-coli. The kids are usually in dire straits by the time they get help.
    I ran though Amish chicken houses and dairy lots Barefooted! All it did was make me grow tall!
    Our modern livestock handling is very nasty!
     
  14. 9Pines

    9Pines Well-Known Member

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    I've seen that clip on CNN showing the children reaching over to touch the lil black cows nose. Not the head, or neck..but the wet nose or the tongue of the cow as it was reaching for the child.

    Here is my thinking on this. I wish CNN would go back and do that story again and show me if the chaparones MADE the children wash their hands when leaving the petting farm. I think they are just as much at fault as they blame the petting zoo owners.

    That same hand went from animal to animal and also touched the fencing between as the line walked forward to the next animal. So even if one child didnt pet that cow.. his/her hand touched that fence as they walked forward.

    I can see how something could spread really fast between a group of humans in that scenario. If those hands were not washed, the child/chaparone went from that barn to the bus to most likely eat the picnic lunch that they ask them to pack for the field trip. So now where are the germs?

    To me.. as a homesteader ..if you think about it.. the first thing we do when we get back from the barn is to leave our barn clothes/boots outside,wash our hands, get out of our barn clothes, disinfect feeding bottles, milking equipment,
    and wash down the area we did all this with a good bleach cleaning. The child went to the bus..went back to the school..putting how many different things in their mouths. Probably went home to spend a few more hours with those dirty hands still unwashed, and maybe had another meal with hands still unwashed.

    How many times do you as homesteading/farming parents tell your children or even your spouses to 'wash up, suppers ready'... or wash up before heading to town or even..'time to wash up, its bedtime'..

    Yes I agree that farm folks have a better imune system to these things. They also have a better concept on what they have touched. Snot/spit/doo/puss/urine/ ect. They know to wash/disenfect before moving on to other things.

    So theres another reason for city folk to be better educated on cleanliness from the farm. Teachers and chaparones especially. I would think the petting zoo folks should hand out flyers or tell the schools a new rule.. ALL humans MUST wash their hands before leaving the facility. No exeptions.

    Here is one for you. A few years ago I was at a county fair. There was a tiny little calf on display. A father was holding a tiny little girl. He leaned over to let the child pet the calf. And like all calves.. it grabbed the tiny lil hand to suck on it. The little girl squealed and laughed. Fine, it was cute. Not more than five minutes later that same fathers wife showed up with the ice cream cones the dairy barn was promoting. Handed it to the child and that same hand held the ice cream cone. No barrier between the germs on that hand and that cone wich was edible. It made my tummy queasy on the thought of what just happened. ugh.

    Ok.. I'm done with my little rant. :)
     
  15. gccrook

    gccrook Well-Known Member

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    I just discussed this same topic with mymother, and we were recalling our growing up. I grew up part of my life (10 years) in Paraguay. It is a third world country and they had little concept of the kind of hygiene we practice here. We were dirty little kids, and I have pictures to prove it. Their meat markets were in the open, with flies on the meat. Most americans would never think of eating there. However, it is almost unheard of for some one to have ecoli poisoning. We were very seldom sick of anything as children. I also have pictures from when I was even smaller (4 years) in Jamaica where we spent a year. You could barely tell me from the ground. Again, we never were sick there.

    Now, my 2 cents. The animals raised in this country are raised different from most other countries. Grain fed beef, jam packed pork and chickens. This is not healthy for the animals, how could it be for us?

    I wish I could locate it again, but I read a report where they studied grain fed beef versus gras fed beef, and they found the ecoli count much higher in the gut of the grain fed beef. This did not surprise me in the least. THe same can be true of humans. If we put too much of the wrong stuff in our system, we will get overgrowth of stuff that is not supposed to. Overexposure to antibiotics and to antibacterial solutions is making things worse, not better. A study on the antibacterial solutions showed that they did not kill anywhere near the 99.9% they claim. THe stuff left behind is stronger and more resistant. Antibacterial does not come into our house anymore. It is enough to wash well with soap, and even just water will do a good job sometimes. We have had no known incidences of food poisoning in our house. I eat my steak medium rare, and raw eggs for breakfast.

    My kids have been to several petting zoos, and they are not the most hygenical of kids (I'm not overly compulsive about this, so my fault), andf they have never been sick from it. I generally become concerned when I hear that they traced it back to the animals. How did they do that? Usually, bad science, making inferences where too many variables exists to make a good conclusion.
     
  16. Cyngbaeld

    Cyngbaeld In Remembrance Supporter

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    Maybe I'm ignorant, but I don't know how the kids could catch something from the animals, when the animals tested negative for it? Read it in the news, yesterday. Maybe it was the hotdogs and not the livestock?
     
  17. Bladesmith

    Bladesmith Well-Known Member

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    So far, they have yet to tie the outbreak to any animals from the petting zoo in question. With the number of vectors available for E. Coli at a fair (food suppliers/handlers, games, and oy! the bathrooms), it could be darn near anything. The zoo had signs and hand washing stations available.
     
  18. tnborn

    tnborn Well-Known Member

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    O.K. here are my thoughts about the petting zoo incident. Kids should not have food in the area with pets.2) this is a way to scare the public about animals that are not sold in the grocery store already packaged and frozen3) too many educated ,city people are above washing their hands after petting animals.4) a way to scare the public about e-coli and other things that go back to #3.5) news media love to blow stories all out proportion to show the farmers or pet zoo people are negliegent and dim -witted. A threat to civilization as city people want it to be (surburbia). 6) will probably require more regulations and government interference with people who own or have livestock. Just my 2 cents worth.
    tnborn
     
  19. centexguy

    centexguy Well-Known Member

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    I agree I think it had to be something they all ate. I have heard that hotdogs are often contaiminated. I would pet a goat and eat, before I would eat a poorly cooked hotdog.but I really dont like hotdogs.this was really a tradgedy,i hope they find the real cause.
     
  20. BamaSuzy

    BamaSuzy Well-Known Member

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    According to the news reports I've heard and read, some of the kids were at petting zoos around Orlando and some were at the Plant City Strawberry Festival....I used to live in Plant City so I am trying to find out more about the outbreak....it is supposed to be an outbreak of e-coli that attacks the kidneys of humans in some ways....

    I raise Angora rabbits and have 70 chickens, three goats, six cats, and two dogs....the animals are all in their own fenced areas, houses, pens, hutches, etc....the dogs are in their own fenced areas and one cat lives indoors with us and the other six just moved from inside the house to a catery we built on our back screened porch....

    Animals make a lot of poop but I compost it (not the dogs and cats)....

    I think common sense and hand washing could likely have prevented these outbreaks....but I still have more researching to do on it.