Bird snuggling may not be America's favorite extracurricular activity, but the Centers For Disease Control is telling us to stop snuggling with chickens.

When you think of snuggling you think of dogs, cats, and maybe someone sweet. But, there are plenty of people in the world who have taken to chicken-snuggling - and that's  a problem.

According to a story in the Washington Post, eight separate outbreaks of salmonella have been linked to "pet poultry" in the United States. More than 370 people have gotten sick and 71 required hospitalization.

Nobody has died yet in 2017 due to chicken snuggling, but last year there were three reported deaths among more than 800 people dealing with salmonella symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, cramps, and fever.In Colorado, the number is between 15 and 20, including one in Mesa County.

So, exactly who are these chicken snugglers? Who is it that is getting cheek-to-cheek with these birds of a feather? Well, the fact is,  they are hard to spot.

It could be a neighbor, a co-worker, that person standing next to you in the check-out line at the grocery store, or that person at the end of the church pew on Sunday morning.

About half of the people suffering from salmonella last year admitted to snuggling with their baby chicks, and nearly half of them allowed their chickens in the house.

The CDC says it's not a good idea to snuggle with birds of any kind, regardless of how sweet and cuddly they may be. The elderly and small children especially should avoid handling chickens. Handwashing remains the #1 weapon for chicken handlers when it comes to avoiding sickness.

So, there you go. No more chicken snuggling. If you have the need to snuggle, visit the Roice-Hurst Humane Society to find a suitable four-legged snuggle buddy.

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