Chickens for Autism

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by Calebs Chicks, Apr 4, 2016.

  1. Calebs Chicks

    Calebs Chicks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Howdy! Already put out a post, but put it under the games heading on mistake, for crying out loud! I am looking for some advice and suggestions for starting a 4 H or poultry club for disabled children and adults possibly. I am a mom of a 11 year old son, whom is Autistic, and non verbal. And after complaining about the fact that there's very little available out there farming wise for these kids....I want to do something about it!
    I have had poultry in the past, ( Red Stars, Wyandottes, New Hampshires, Speckled Sussex, Buff Orps, Black Australorps, and Partridge Rocks for chickens, and African geese, and Rouen ducks) I think chickens would be a great intro for these kids.

    Some guidelines:

    - preferably Heritage and or show quality

    - sexed pullets available- a lot of these kids live in burbs. No Roos allowed. :tongue

    - (hopefully) breeders open to follow up questions, and help after initial sale...I may need back up!

    - breeds known for gentleness.

    Thanks in advance for any suggestions and or advice!
     
  2. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years. Premium Member

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    Silkies are docile , as are cochins.
     
  3. TimCline

    TimCline Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I don't really have any suggestions, just wanted to say this is a good idea :)
     
  4. N F C

    N F C dem crazy bones Premium Member

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    You should talk to one of our members Blooie. I bet she would have a lot of good input for you. Here is one of the threads she started and frequents:
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/935165/raising-chickens-and-special-needs-kids

    You can send her a personal message if you would prefer to reach her that way. In the upper right corner of your screen, you'll see a little blue envelope labeled Private Messages. Click on that and a message window will open up. Address it to Blooie, add a subject (or title) and type your note to her then just click Submit.

    Good luck with your venture!
     
  5. Ol Grey Mare

    Ol Grey Mare One egg shy of a full carton. ..... Premium Member

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    X2....also wanted to say is a great idea, I know some alzheimer care facilities use chickens and have seen some great results in how the folks respond to them.
     
  6. Blooie

    Blooie Team Spina Bifida Premium Member

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    Hi! Welcome to BYC! I was scrolling down through new posts and the word "autism" jumped out and grabbed me by the arm! I have two amazing little people in my life who are my treasures!! Katie just turned 10 and was diagnosed when she was about 18 months old. She also has a couple of other minor issues - her hips are asymetrical and she is missing ribs. But she's incredible. We started working with her before we even had a name for her particular "problems" and her therapists were incredible. She came home from school after her first-of-the-school-year IEP so excited and just had to tell me - "Gramma, I'm not in Special Ed for austism anymore!"

    Little sister Kendra was born with Spina Bifida. She's pretty much non-communicative, which really isn't a fair thing to say. She knows hundreds of words. She knows all the letters of the alphabet on sight and even out of order or in different fonts. She knows her numbers, again, any order, up to 30. None of the words she does say are mispronounced. She can name animals that most kids her age don't even recognize. She can pick the cards with her first name and her last name scattered among the rest of the first and last name cards of her preschool classmates, and was the only kid to be able to do so. She can read simple 3 letter words and that list is growing. But she can't carry on a conversation. She doesn't even try. That's okay - love has its own language and she speaks it fluently. She has been diagnosed just last month with Autism (we already KNEW that) and Globally Disabled. Well, not on our watch!

    Most folks who have seen my posts anywhere on the forum can tell you all about Katie and Kendra. NFC gave you the link to the article I wrote about kids with disabilities and chickens. And we also have a thread with a few other families with amazing special kids....

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/935165/raising-chickens-and-special-needs-kids

    Both girls have been helped so much by having the chickens! I like Easter Eggers, because they are pretty friendly and the kids love the different colored eggs. I don't have any Silkies or Cochins but have heard nothing but good things about them.

    You could type in the name of your state in the "search" box and it will connect you with folks in your area who might be excited to jump on the chicken bandwagon with you and love being part of such a worthwhile project!

    Come on by and let us meet you, your son, and the rest of your family, and we can do a little brainstorming to see what else we can come up with!

    And Diva, OGM, and NFC, thanks for jumping in with info about some choices and, of course, my girls!!
     
    1 person likes this.
  7. NickyKnack

    NickyKnack Love is Silkie soft!

    :thumbsup Thus is a wonderful way to offer new experiences to special needs children. :clap

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    There's a lot of great peeps here! Feel free to ask lots of questions. But most of all, make yourself at home. I'm so glad you decided to join the BYC family. I look forward to seeing you around the run.
     
  8. Calebs Chicks

    Calebs Chicks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I was SO excited to read your article, and some of your other attachments! My son is completely nonverbal.....never have even heard Mom, or Mama. But he is super vocal, and like most Autistic kids has trouble with empathy, and social skills. I felt your articles were extremely well versed, and educational. I am rambling, at moment, because pretty tired, after only sleeping a few hours, (another trait of Autism) as Caleb- my son was up super early, but it is important to me that I let you know how much it means to me to read of your experience in this matter. I have been brainstorming a while on subject, and knew I had to do something with these kids and special people that I too enjoyed; or it would be no good! Plenty of sports leagues out there for them, but I thought......gee- if I could get them to learn about poultry and all that comes with it; this could be the ticket! I still need to learn more about 4 H or actually starting a club.....and I really,really need to learn about genetics if I am going to be breeding. But I look forward to it, and actually doing something new and exciting for these guys! It occurs to me that there maybe a local club here in this area already...will have to check on that, and look into joining it.
    I saw the breed recommendations, and agreed whole heartedly. I had already had those in mind particularly, but as usual- wanted other input. Am thinking maybe bantam Silkies, Cochins , and Easter Eggers. Ofcourse want to narrow this down due to space limitations and such....but it's a start!
    Again- rambling; lol. But you are a inspiration, and I Look forward to learning more from both you and the other excellent poultry people on here! Thanks so much! -Crystal
     
  9. Calebs Chicks

    Calebs Chicks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hi there again, fellow poultry people! An update; looks like there is already a 4 H poultry and rabbit club here, and I have been invited to meet and speak with the leaders this month at or after the poultry show here at our county fair! The season is winding down now till after the summer, but that gives us so while to get our coop built, and the new flock started.
    I have researched the many breeds that are known to be people friendly, and after deciding on bantam sizes, I presented pics to my son of them and told him about the different things they do and or are like. The breeds presented were Cochin bantams, Silkie/Showgirls , and Seramas. All are calm, but busy, very appealing to the eye, and known to be kid friendly. Drumroll please.......
    And he has chosen Silkies!!! [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]It's the fluffy, soft appearance that sold him I think. He adores that texture.....lol! So we have a start. I have contacted a breeder here who is well known, and has excellent blood lines, and he thinks he may have some chicks available in next few weeks! Yikes! Also my mom in upstate New York knows someone in our hometown who has nice birds that he shows at all the fairs up there too and will be calling him tomorrow..... Time to find my brooder stuff, and a handyman to build me a little coop! I am so excited to be having chickens again! Honestly miss the soothing noise of them, and their antics. Yay!
    On a funny side note- Caleb brought me the bag of egg cartons that I save to buy local eggs (to eat) and one of my chicken books.....lol! He remembers gathering eggs when a bit younger I guess. Goes to show- non verbal and Autistic, does not mean dumb!! Love this kid! [​IMG][​IMG]
     
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  10. Blooie

    Blooie Team Spina Bifida Premium Member

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    Whoa....look at you go!!! That's awesome that the 4-H leaders and the Silkie breeder were so ready to help. You know, it might be really good for Caleb AND the other 4-H kids to work together.....teaches them all tolerance and the rewards of not only participating in the raising and keeping records but will give Caleb a real boost in his self-esteem. Will there be rough days? Well, do chickens poop in the coop? Of course there will! But he will quickly learn to watch what the others are doing and his enthusiasm will astound even you, his devoted mom! Sadly, with autism on the rise there will be more and more need for people to learn about it and maybe getting to know Caleb will light that fire in someone to be part of the teams that do so much for our kids!

    Since you haven't started yet, might I suggest using the Mama Heating Pad system for brooding the new arrivals? So much safer than a heat lamp. When we got our very first chicks, I neglected to instruct Katie on not going into the room where they were without an adult present. She went in to look at them and knocked the heat lamp down. I heard it fall and was already running in there but she tried to grab the lamp. I felt terrible when she burned herself. But at the time I didn't know any other way besides the heat lamp to brood the chicks. Now I do know, and I don't have to worry about that again!

    I'm so excited for you!! And not one bit surprised that Caleb is already one step ahead of you with the egg cartons and the book! Good for you, Buddy!!
     
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