As i said in the introduction to “Animals and Dementia Symptoms” (see link at base of entry), I think being around an affectionate animal is therapeutic for any disabled person. I suspect this is seldom more true than for someone whose brain is damaged.
Many animals can be helpful for these aspects of life, Not just dogs. Dogs are now the only animals legally accepted as a “Service Animal”, but that involves trained tasks to mitigate a person’s dys-Abilities. Even care of animals can be THERAPEUTIC, in that it gives purpose for getting out of bed and keeping some organization for the day.
Spending time with animals that can return affection has been shown to lower blood pressure and heart rate, reduce anxiety, and increase endorphins and oxytocin. ((These are feel-good chemicals produced inside each of us.)) See Link for 12-month study by Northumbria University at bottom of this blog entry.
i think chickens can be a very good “therapy” animal for person living with dementia symptoms, …
… as long as there is reliable back-up
for awareness of whether they have been fed, watered, released for the day,
and safely in secure enclosure for night.
Also CRUCIAL to remember to wash hands after handling chickens,
and despite reminder note on back door, i often forget that step
… so husband reminds me.
In photo above,
8-year-old Snuggle is on my Lap (mixed-breed of AustraLorp and Jersey Giant,
she has not laid an egg in 2yrs, but is rather possessive at lap-time).
Sally is getting a treat from my hand,
and the rooster Soxx (short for “Long-Stockings”) just moved back so that Sally could have his spot.
He is one-year-old, can be a thoughtful gentleman and at times is nothing short of gallant,
but also seems to have a very longgG memory for folks (or the dog) scaring his girls
– whether purposeful or accidental.
Soxx is looking over my shoulder.
Both Sally and Soxx are Jersey Giants from breeder, and where one is, the other is probably nearby.
The two “blue” Jersey Giants, Molly and Blush are at edges of photo.
Then Adele has her head down,
behind two of the four most recently-adopted mixed-breeds in center of photo
(called “Jersey Giant” and probably from hatchery,
but definitely mixed-breed from both smaller size and color of feet).
i cannot tell these 4 girls apart, so only one is named — from her behavior .
She is called “Grumpy”, LOL !
2 hens are probably under the pine tree branches and not in photo, making all 10 of our flock
(on 1/2 acre with 8-feet tall, 10×10 chicken house that has concrete stemwall, — with its own “tree” inside).
“Every back yard in the United States
should contribute its share to a bumper crop of poultry and eggs
in 1918″. — … a Patriotic Duty …
No longer 1918, but …
During these days when grocery-store visits are complicated with virus issues,
eggs are an important added benefit,
and raising chickens addresses some of my own concerns
for future availability and increasing cost for some of our kitchen staples.
Altho we had a milk cow, we didnt have chickens when i was growing up,
but my mother had chickens as a child (and her pet rooster was in the school play, LOL).
My grand-mothers, great-grand-mothers etc thru the generations also had chickens.
With my interest in history and genealogy,
this creates a wonderful continuity in the circle of life … for ME.
** Reminder that chickens, like most animals, must be socialized to humans in order to be human-compatible.
Our chickens are hand-fed treats every day, and enjoy lap-time at least once-weekly, when weather permits.
Roosters require constant awareness and extra conditioning-time on VERY frequent basis. Even tho i work at it, the chickens we raised from one-day-old are still MUCH more friendly than those which we received at several months old (Adele and the “blues” Molly and Blush). The four most recently adopted were daily hand-fed before we received them. Even friendly Roosters can become very protective and territorial, even dangerous with sharp bone spur at the ankles. In the past we have needed to re-home two previous roosters due to aggressive behaviors.
Video LINKS: My 2014 vid with Onyx, Snuggle, and the other mixed-breed flock
at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aZN2dTrKpGg ;
… and a 12-month study by Northumbria University is available at Link on this page https://equalarts.org.uk/var/www/vhosts/equalarts.org.uk/httpdocs/our-work/henpower .
Service Dog Links at https://truthfulkindness.com/about/life-other/animals/service-dog-links/ .
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* Admin issues: SHARE dementia awareness thru buttons below. Feel free to leave your thoughts in the form of comments, but please filter your comments with truthful loving kindness to all concerned. If interested in receiving notice of future blog postings, subscriptions are available through a “follow” button in the upper left corner (MS Explorer) or lower right (Safari, Mozilla Firefox and Chrome). If there is an advertisement below, I have no control over what is shown. My own full legal name is Truthful Loving Kindness. My current diagnosis is still Mild Cognitive Impairment, but my neurologist said I am in a unique position for helping because I have “one foot in each door”. Text Copyright © Truthful L. Kindness 27Apr2020. Tags are: animal, chicken, dementia, hen, henpower, therapy