Chickens as therapy!

Discussion in 'Pictures & Stories of My Chickens' started by sassybarnmom, Sep 26, 2016.

  1. sassybarnmom

    sassybarnmom New Egg

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    Sep 26, 2016
    I'm sure we can all agree that chickens, in general, are therapeutic.
    I currently work on a therapeutic riding facility, where most of my chickens are also housed. Recently, we started seriously discussing the possibility of my chickens being used with therapy patients.

    My group is very friendly and cuddly - perfect for kids or adults who want to cuddle something while dealing with their emotions.

    I'm curious to hear if others do this as well, and am also open to advice since I'm still fairly new to chickens. My only concern would be potential contamination, meaning those who hold my chickens could potentially be bringing in sickness.

    Thoughts? Stories? Pictures? I'd love to see them! Pictured is my best hen, Henrietta.

    Thanks y'all! [​IMG]
     
  2. cypressdrake

    cypressdrake Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have been around poultry most of my life, and I begin raising Marans chickens and mallard ducks in 2007. I was told I had cancer, and raising poultry has helped take my mind off the negative things, and stay positive. I look at poultry almost every night online. I am almost 7 years cancer free. Poultry has helped me stay active, and has helped me both mentally, and physically. Poultry helps keep a person active on a daily routine.
     
  3. b.hromada

    b.hromada Flock Mistress

    How wonderful! I'm sure it will be a huge hit. So glad you thought to do this. [​IMG] [​IMG] So glad you joined us!
     
  4. AriadneCastro

    AriadneCastro Out Of The Brooder

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    Dear Sassybarnmom,

    In my opinion, you should get that idea going a.s.a.p.

    Chickens are very empathetic and loving, as you probably noticed by now. My case: I was diagnosed with "chronic depression" and given 6 months of antidepressants "to begin with". However, I've decided that feeling bad when life sucks is not a disease, but normal reaction of frustration, so I didn't want the medication. Instead, I built a coop and adopted 17 chicks. Seven died, which didn't do much good towards my sadness, but the remaining ten depend on me no matter what. This keeps me down to earth. Now, when I feel sad, I just go and sit with my birds for a while, play with them, pet them, teach them tricks... It only takes a moment of this, and to see the joyful expression on their little faces when I arrive. I just snap out of depression mode, no drugs needed.

    Things one can easily learn from chickens:

    - being in the present moment
    - patience
    - kindness
    - detachment
    - the measure of happiness: it fits in a grain of rice, in a ray of the sun, in very small things

    I'm pretty sure most people will relate...
     
  5. twilightgecko

    twilightgecko Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 25, 2016
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    they absolutely are therapeutic.. when i am feeling a little blah, i go outside and give a yell "where's my girls at?" and when they hear Mama's voice, watching them scramble out of the woods, they run and fly and rush me.. i sit on the ground and my 9 girls peck gently at my hair and perch on my knees.. i can't help but be happy.. they have made my life just soooo much better..
    [​IMG]
     
  6. sassybarnmom

    sassybarnmom New Egg

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    Sep 26, 2016
    Thank you for your input ladies! I'm glad to see some first hand accounts of the therapeutic abilities of chickens.
    Ariadne I completely understand and relate to where you're coming from. Animals have always kept me grounded. Mostly horses but recently I dived into raising chickens and absolutely love it.

    It never fails to amaze me how unique and intelligent chickens are; each one has something different to offer.
     
  7. sassybarnmom

    sassybarnmom New Egg

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    Sep 26, 2016
    Twilightgecko that is awesome haha! So far only half my group comes when called but we are getting there! Patience patience patience!
     
  8. AriadneCastro

    AriadneCastro Out Of The Brooder

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    Chickens learn very fast - faster than cats and dogs, as far as I've noticed! If you want them to follow you around or come when called, just hand-feed them frequently. It also helps to show up with treats. My girls go crazy about strawberries and snails, so that's what I use to train them. The smartest of your group will be the first to inspect whatever you have in your hands. After a week you'll have everyone inspecting you when you arrive. Some of my girls demand my attention by pulling on my clothes, hair and shoelaces... lol


    The more time you spend with your chickens, the funnier it gets. They accept you as simply another member of the flock and (the smartest) can develop vocalizations to communicate *specifically* with you - because yes, they know you are not a chicken, but they will still try to talk with you.
     

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