Be careful when ordering things through the mail - especially chicks.

Apparently, 50 million live poultry are sold through the mail each year in the United States.  Business has been booming because wanna-be farmers regard backyard chickens as a great way to raise their own food. So they buy chicks, for their kids or themselves.

I imagine they only think that chickens are a great way to raise their own food until the little eco-terrorists ruin the yard and smell up the place - or give their kids salmonella. 316 cases have been reported in 43 states since 2004.

"It's all part of this greener, healthier lifestyle," said Casey Barton Behravesh, veterinary epidemiologist at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 

Yes, let's go back to the good old days when foodborne illnesses were killing kids all over the world. Thanks, organic farmers, I think I will wash it down with some raw milk.

The illnesses were detailed Wednesday in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Hundreds of salmonella cases tied to chicks By Mike Stobbe, AP Medical Writer