Can you get a chicken certified to be a therapy animal and visit the sick and elderly?
Website? Requirements? Anything?
Thanks in advance!
Oh my goodness! What a fun idea! I have thought of getting my dog into that, but a chicken would be fun and new, good luck in your search with that!!!
You could check with your local area therapy dog chapter. They more than likely could answer basic questions and then you'd have to see what the liabilities were and such.
I know around here they bring all sorts of animals to the nursing homes for visits. Dogs, rabbits, miniature horses...
Here's an article that I found:
How Bald Chickens Help Troubled Kids. It's about old battery hens that someone took in and rehabbed and they use them for therapy.
I googled, "Certified Therapy Chicken," and it pulled up a few stories about chickens helping out, but nothing about getting them certified so far.
I would love to look into that for my chick, and I was wondering how to get started? Or maybe this isn't approved at all residents?
Thinking out loud...
Handling would be the most important thing. Getting the chicken used to constant petting and different people holding her on their laps and such. You'd also have to get them used to noises that would be around a nursing home or rehabilitation center and make sure they didn't peck at them.
I've just started working with the chick around 5 weeks old, when I took it away from it's mother.
It'll be 6 weeks old this Wednesday, and it's making excellent progress.
It's become very affectionate to me. Loves the attention and treats. Stands still while I hold it. No pecking so far.
I'm also trying to order a harness and diaper to get it use to that.
Been testing out a old small harness on it. So far, just laying it on his back.
No problems there.
I'll start trying to get family to hold the chick now.
Thanks a lot! I'll be making some phone calls soon to see what else I need.
You may want to wait a bit on the harness and lead and too much handling. Just you handling her regularly at first would be good. 6wks is young and they can get stressed easily. I don't think it'd be safe to pull her around in a harness at that age.
Just keep handling her like you are and do it regularly until you see she is very comfortable, then just add the new things a little at a time in the same way. Maybe adding a person at a time every couple weeks and watching to see what makes her comfortable or uncomfortable. Make some small chicken saddles as she gets older so that she's used to things around her wings, later if you add a harness it'll be a piece of cake.
Good luck with her and please post updates
The harness was just for wear now. I want him to be use to it, like you say.
My sister sits by while I am with him sometimes to observe.
So I figure I'll let her start to hold him also.
So far the chick is pretty easy to read.
It loves food, so I use it to help keep him calm, and he's doing so well.
He gets a little stressed when I pick him up (feet off the ground), so I'm trying to get him use to walking on my hand.
So far I can lurk him on my hand with food, and he'll sit still while I stand and walk with him.
(of course, I'm slow and ready to catch him at any moment!)
I understand I need patience here, that is one reason I would love to give this a try.
The chick is really helping my stress level.
Thanks again for your help.
You're very welcome! I think a Therapy Chicken would be awesome and I love that you are doing it for the elderly and/or sick in a nursing home situation.
They love visits with pets of any kind and I've seen even the most unemotional patients come to life when the therapy dogs came for the day.
I've got a picture right here beside me on my computer room wall of my mom and the pomeranian that used to visit her before she died. She would talk about it for days afterward and every single detail about the visit.