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Chickens provide animal therapy at care home

A disabled chicken named Dill and her sister Rosemary paid a visit to residents at a care home to provide animal therapy sessions.

The animals were brought in to help keep the residents occupied and prevent loneliness and boredom, and residents enjoying interacting with the feathered friends. 

The hens belong to Wendy Watkins, a chicken breeder from Whatsandwell, Derbyshire, who took them along to Burton Closes Hall Care Home in Bakewell.

Wendy has eight chickens all named after herbs, with Dill living with a disability after her neck became stuck in her chest when born.

The residents had chance to meet and stroke the chickens as part of the animal therapy visit, which helps to improve social interaction and lessen the effects of loneliness, depression and anxiety among the elderly.

Residents were amazed at being able to handle the chickens and loved the animal therapy

Wendy also read poetry to the residents as part of the visit, reciting a poem she wrote when she got her first chicken.

Hazel Jones, home manager at Burton Closes Hall, said: “It was a lovely visit from Wendy and her chickens. The residents loved meeting them and were amazed at being able to touch and feel them.animal therapy with Dill the chicken

“Animal therapy sessions have improved social engagement and communication among the elderly. They also help tackle depression, loneliness, boredom and anxiety.”

Here, resident Doreen Maltz, 89, holds Dill with the help of Wendy.

Burton Closes Hall Care Home is part of the Hill Care Group. For further information visit www.hillcare.net.

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