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Is there any risk from handling a skeletonized bird which was up the chimney?

(8 Posts)
cozietoesie Sat 16-May-15 12:40:09

Yesterday evening I was clearing an old fireplace in one of the back bedrooms. It's an awkward Victorian grate and hood assembly so I couldn't clear the chimney itself but in the course of attempting to clear some soot etc at the top, I felt what I thought was a brush or something stuck up and pulled it out - to be faced with a skeletonized bird. (Starling-size by the look of it.)

The chimney hasn't been used for well over 40 years and this bird was so thoroughly skeletonized - not even a single feather - that it could well even be Victorian/Edwardian. (The age of the house.)

I assumed that there was no risk and just dumped the skeleton in the bin but the family are now going all wibbly about it.

No risk with such an old and dessicated specimen, right?

Pancakeflipper Sat 16-May-15 17:25:41

I cannot see any issues unless you were all licking it. All the meat would have rotted and it would just be bones. And if it was there when they had the fire on its probably been barbecued several times over. Tell your them to get a grip.

MaryMotherOfCheeses Sat 16-May-15 17:28:02

I think I'd wash my hands but no, it won't be harbouring anything after that length of time.

cozietoesie Sat 16-May-15 20:05:48

That's what I thought - I think they've watched too many TV shows with weird and wonderful diseases. (I shouldn't have mentioned the persistence of virulence in smallpox bacilli either but that's my own problem.)

Thank you both.

PigletJohn Sun 17-May-15 14:02:51

every time you work in the garden, surely you are handing earth that has been contaminated by living and dead animals.

cozietoesie Sun 17-May-15 14:33:01

I know it, PigletJohn.

I'm pretty careful about contamination of various sorts but I swear you'd have thought I was personally introducing psittacosis or West Nile or something into the house. I tried to explain that the darned thing was probably Victorian and received only sympathetic and knowing looks.

mammuzzamia Sun 17-May-15 14:51:55

Only risk I'd have thought would be being cut by a beak or sharp bone...

HermioneGrangerHair Sun 17-May-15 19:43:35

Wash your hands. It'll be fine.

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