I heard this on the news this morning: Don't kiss your chickens!
Cliff and I have a theory about this sort of thing. We feel if you are in constant contact with salmonella germs, you build up an immunity. We wonder if this isn't also true for tetanus.
From the time I could walk, I hated shoes and seldom wore them. At least once a week I would step on something that punctured, cut, and broke the skin of my calloused feet in various ways. Rusty nails were often the culprit. Seems as though I ought to have died of lockjaw, because I never had a tetanus shot. Never got stitches for anything, either.
At the switchboard house in Iowa, and also in north Missouri, Mother had a large flock of back yard chickens. They were enclosed in a large pen. I didn't have to ask permission to play with the hens; I just opened the door, closed it behind me, and sauntered around in the chicken poop in my bare feet. I cornered hens and picked them up and held them. I reached under them when they were on the nest to see if there were eggs. They often pecked me, but I learned early on that a chicken peck doesn't hurt that much. One time a hen was on the nest with her rear end toward me. Imagine my amazement when I saw her pushing a wet egg out of her behind!
I'm pretty sure I never washed my hands after playing with the chickens. My parents were too busy with the switchboard and the gardens and canning to follow behind me telling me to wash my hands.
Yeah, I think people worry too much about germs these days. By the way, I still go in the chicken house barefoot. I do rinse off my feet afterward if the grass isn't dewy enough to clean them, and these days I wash my hands after gathering eggs or handling anything related to the hens. Especially on days I'm babysitting.
Oh yes, and a final thing about the ill-fated Kansas day trip.