Caring for hens is relatively simple and their personalities and behaviour are elaborate, making them super therapy animals, according to writer Geraldine Walsh.
In an article in the Irish Examiner, she says the decision to become a hen owner started as a spur-of-the-moment decision but it has become a way of life.
She wasn’t sure how she would like being a hen owner, so she sought out Erika and Gary Dunphy from Hen Friends, who rent out chickens and a chicken coop to see if being a hen owner is for you. Little did she know that caring for her new feathered friends would mean more than just fresh eggs.
Geraldine says there is something about tending to these hens that grounds a person and notes that while their routine and care is relatively simple, their personalities and behaviour are far more elaborate. Geraldine, who shared that she has suffered from anxiety and depression, says she can honestly say there is an unexplainable calm in keeping hens.
Interestingly, it is becoming increasingly common for care homes and nursing homes to take on a few chickens. Hens are literally giving people a new lease of life, decreasing the risk of depression, dementia and are improving their quality of life and overall health.