The number of people who want to raise their own poultry continues to grow, and former “Beverly Hills, 90210” actress Tori Spelling seems to be one of the latest people joining the fray.

Already a pig owner, Spelling recently received a baby chick as a birthday present.

Spelling introduced her new chick via Instagram, and People magazine recirculated the news. Spelling referred to herself as the “#chickenwhisperer” and showed it in her hand. She wrote: “Fun Chicken Fact: If you hold a baby chick on its back and rub its belly females will fall asleep and males will fight you.”

It makes me wonder if Spelling has done any research on poultry care, or if she is just, to coin a phrase, “winging it.”

Chicks are cute and loveable, but …

I can only imagine in Spelling’s household, which includes five children, that the chick is often held and cuddled. The thought almost made me cringe.

Make no mistake about it, chicks are cute, but those in the poultry industry with a deeper knowledge of poultry know that chickens carry with them the risk of spreading Salmonella. I’d hate to think that Spelling, or even worse, one of her innocent kids, might learn that the hard way.

It made me think of comments made last year by Dr. Jacquie Jacob, University of Kentucky extension poultry specialist, which I referred to in an earlier blog about Salmonella and backyard flocks.

“It’s next to impossible to prevent Salmonella from entering into your flock,” Jacob said in a USDA Radio News interview. “You have to assume that your birds have Salmonella, of a type that can make you sick.”

In the same interview, Jacob advised that people who handle their chickens should always wash their hands after doing so. She also cautioned to keep children who are still sucking their thumbs away from the birds.

So Ms. Spelling, if you are out there and catch wind of this, I hope you and your family enjoy your new bird, but please be sure you are educated and don’t put you or your children at risk.