Have you hugged a chicken today?
Most people are familiar with Equine Therapy, and understand the healing abilities of horses, but have you ever heard of Chicken Therapy?
I recently met a woman who had eleven pet chickens. The chickens were a variety of colors and breeds and all had their own pet names. According to Heidi, the owner, she said that the chickens have distinct personalities and similar to people, have their own pecking order. Some chickens get bullied, while others are more dominant and take the lead role. Some are curious, playful or adventurous, but all chickens are uniquely different.
Having experienced a stressful weekend, I asked if I could hold one of the chickens, and was handed a beautiful golden brown bird. As I held the feathery clucking chicken in my arms, I felt an immediate sense of peace and calm, which lead to a conversation about how the chickens, like therapy horses, or other therapy animals, are helpful for a variety of mental health issues including anxiety, depression, PTSD, and dementia. Research indicates that Chicken Therapy is not commonly known, but it exists, and research confirms that chickens make great therapy animals.
As animal lovers, we know that our pets make us feel better on rough days, they sit on our laps, lick our faces and cuddle with us when we feel sad. They calm us down when we feel angry and rejoice in our excitement on good days. There is no question that animals are healing and very therapeutic.
Next time you’re having a rough day, feeling, sad, anxious or frustrated, try some Chicken Therapy!