CDC says don't dress your chickens in Halloween costumes

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OUACHITA PARISH, La. (KNOE) - A strain of Salmonella that's resistant to many antibiotics is making people sick in dozens of states, including Louisiana.

All this has The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention asking pet owners not to dress chickens up for Halloween.

"They're a part of my family," Stephanie Morse, chicken pet owner said.

Not all of Morse's family members live inside her house. Some of them live in the backyard.

And like any other family member, her chickens aren't cooped up. They're well fed, with a place to sleep and they get their feathers ruffled. Especially, when they're getting dressed up for the holidays.

Morse dresses up her chicks in costumes every Halloween.

"Their bare skin is exposed, I just like to put a sweater on them to keep them warm and comfortable, and some of them have more personality, and it's good," Morse said.

But the CDC is tricking this treat by asking folks not to put their pet chickens in costumes or cuddle with them to keep from being exposed to Salmonella.

That's not stopping her because she said it can all be avoided.

"It's just about hand hygiene, after you touch them, when you go inside make sure you just wash your hands, and you watch where you step," she said.

Experts like Dallas Morrell in Downsville said when the meat comes to the table, it's up to you to stay safe. He might be a young farmer but he's no spring chicken when it comes to bacteria.

"You're always suppose to wash it real good before you eat it. And if you see any discoloration, don't eat it," Morrell said.

He said it's safer to shop locally.

"Watch who you get your chickens from. If you're a backyard chicken farm like us we have all of our birds kept in separate cages. And when you go and get birds you're suppose to keep them in quarantine," Morrell said.

So he said there's nothing to brood over, which is why Morse is going to let her birds strut their stuff.

The CDC also said to wipe down surfaces that have come into contact with raw meat. And use a separate cutting board and make sure you cook chicken all the way through.