Therapy or Educational Chickens?

Discussion in 'Pictures & Stories of My Chickens' started by wbruder17, Jul 25, 2011.

  1. wbruder17

    wbruder17 Songster

    Jun 7, 2010
    Portland, OR
    I am a substitute teacher. Well I'm a licensed teacher who hasn't gotten a job fulltime in 5 years. So, I have decided I no longer feel the desire to pursue a full time teaching job. I'm fine sticking with subbing, but I want another parttime job. Not just a table waiiting or grocery checking job. I've done that and I'm DONE with that. I want to do somethingg I LOVE and get a little money for it. I've already got the egg business just about up and ruunning (just waiting on the girls to start the real business) the subbing and summer school jobs keep me fairly comfortable, and the eggs could bring in another $150 or so a month.

    What I REALLY want to do is combine my obsession with chickens with my degree in education. I have several very sweet chhickens who, I dontt think, would mind too much getting toted arouund and played with by kids. I would like to travel around and give little seminars on urban chicken keeping, sustainability, urban gardens, etc. Chicken therapy, like they do with many other animal breeds, would be ok as well, but I also want my chickens to live in the coop/backyard and I don't think a hospital would admit a non-sterile bird.

    Does anyone have information/ thoughts regarding this? Or how I can get started?

  2. ShelterGirl

    ShelterGirl Chirping

    Apr 3, 2011
    Sorry I can't offer much help on the subject, but I support your idea and have somewhat followed this idea. The shelter I work at is allowing me to make a presentation Saturday with my little roo who has a sweet personality and is so well mannered. He is very good at controlling his...urge to use the bathroom...for about 5 minutes so as a tip- GET A CHICKEN DIAPER [​IMG]

    Make sure that if anyone pets him, as I stress, use sanitizer before and after as a health thing. Prevents anything from spreading to your chickens, and keeps the people free from anything as well.

    If around children, have them form a line and take turns one by one petting or if they are restricted to say, a wheelchair, then take turns presenting the chicken to them.

    But I'm interested to hear more of what you find so keep in contact! [​IMG]
  3. wbruder17

    wbruder17 Songster

    Jun 7, 2010
    Portland, OR
    The girls I hhold regularly have never pooped on me, suprisingly, but the diaper thing is a very good idea that I will look into. I hope to hear lots on this thread, as I'm sure people on here have some experience with it. Ii know one woman who posts takes her chickens to informational fairs, but she has raised the chickens to be able to do it.
  4. TrystInn

    TrystInn Songster

    Sep 16, 2009
    Southern Arizona
    I do something similar through our local Grange - we go to churches, schools, etc. Haven't tried hospitals yet, but with diapers it could be a go.

    The most important thing is to get healthy, friendly breeds and handle them often - handfeed if you can. Get them used to being put into carriers, traveling and being touched by strangers as early as possible. I teach workshops with two roosters, which is always very popular with the crowds. Especially when we get into a crowing contest with each other.

    The biggest hit is our smooth-feathered Silkie, Wendy - she croons along with me in duets. [​IMG]
  5. wbruder17

    wbruder17 Songster

    Jun 7, 2010
    Portland, OR
    I was thinking of using my OEGBs, my bantam cochin and my Silkie. The OEGBs will actually follow me around to get held and I pass them off to everyong who comes into my yard, including my 3 year old neice and several other children. I handle most of them from chickies (some just don't like it no matter what, but I wouldn't use them anyway)

    I also have an EE that I hatched that will go to sleep on my lap and purr, but I don't know how shhe would be with anyone other than me.

    So, perhaps I should start contacting, like, ELKS clubs? I alreay work in schools, so maybe just contacting principles? I am wondering if public schools would allow it? Or pay me at all? I'm not looking for tons of money, just something supplemental really.
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2011

  6. ShelterGirl

    ShelterGirl Chirping

    Apr 3, 2011
    Try a simple start, like say, having the kids bring a dollar each so they can interact with the chicken. (coming up to pet them)

    As you get popular and it gets good reviews, contact other places and set a price such as $20 in the beginning, $50 as you get more notice, such on. Something small but that would make you a bit.

    Our schools around here are stingy so try the dollar per kid idea if the set price doesn't catch their attention. That way it's a voluntary thing that the PARENTS give instead of the schools.
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2011
  7. Larkspur88

    Larkspur88 Songster

    Apr 3, 2011
    South Carolina
    I just went through dog therapy training with my terrier and a chicken will never be allowed in a hospital. Too much health risk. Some people in hospitals are going to have debilitated immune systems too so a healthy chicken to us could cause problems to such a person.

    They have do many restrictions on even the canines it's amazing dogs are still able to go into hospitals. My dog passed the course. I just have to wait on his paperwork to be returned and finalized.
  8. wbruder17

    wbruder17 Songster

    Jun 7, 2010
    Portland, OR
    Quote:Yea, that's what I figured, which is ok with me. Don't really know how much time I would like to spend in a hospiital, but the other part, about schools, community centers etc....that's what I really want to do.
  9. typnslow

    typnslow Songster

    Feb 2, 2011
    New Market, Al
    Keep us posted this sounds like a fun venture.

  10. ThinkingChickens

    ThinkingChickens Songster

    Feb 18, 2011
    Actually, not true! There are pet assisted therapy programs that DO allow chickens, goats, cats, hamsters and other odd animals. I am a guide dog puppy raiser and my other dog is slated for pet assisted therapy with a group I've already worked with in the past. Even if you aren't allowed in hospitals you'll be allowed in nursing homes, special education classes, etc. Now, that won't bring you money as pet assisted therapy is generally a volunteer position.

    Here is what I would do. I would write up a proposal with an outline of the material you'd cover, a copy of a handout you've created, and pictures of the animals you would bring with you. I'd write a presentation and be prepared to give it on the subject you've determined is best. Then, I'd come up with a fee and send out an information package to each school next year in January when schools are working on the following year's budget. You can charge say, $50 for a grade level presentation or $250 for an assembly. Offer a certain time limit, leaving room for questions and an organized petting afterwards. You might also consider workshops which have different "education stations" if you have friends who can help you out.

    I've done presentations with guide dogs so I could offer different ideas for activities if you want. I wish you the best of luck and I think your idea is great!

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