There is risk of contracting Salmonella from contact with chickens.
Home chicken coups are getting more popular and for good reason! The eggs you raise are nutritionally superior, and they just plain taste better.
Chickens in your yard offer other benefits as well (as many of you have learned) including often providing you with the love you find with any pet. That's where the problem starts.
Their so cute, and are often "cuddly", but unlike other pets, they are known to harbor the Salmonella bacteria. Most of you know about Salmonella. It can kill the elderly, young and people with diminished immune systems. Most healthy adults are facing a bout with diarrhea, stomach cramps, vomiting, and fever.
You can minimize the risk!
#1 - Wash your hands after coming into contact with any fowl (ducks included)
#2 - Don't eat anywhere in the vicinity of your birds!
#3 - Keep your live fowl out of your house.
It's also a good idea to keep other household pets away from your chickens and ducks. They too can contract the bacteria, and the results can be equally dangerous to their health.
By all means, consider the benefits of a backyard coup, but by using a little common sense, and setting up some basic handling regimes, you'll realize all the benefits and reduce the risk to your family!