Consumers Tap Into Chicken Therapy

June 8, 2017 10:56 AM
Backyard chickens

Backyard flock owners appreciate their chickens as a source of fresh eggs, and many even love their birds as pets. Patrick Biggs, a flock nutritionist for Purina Animal Nutrition, presents another benefit to keeping a backyard flock — chicken therapy.

“A flock of backyard chickens can make good therapy animals because they are calming to watch, relatively easy to care for and deliver daily rewards in the form of farm fresh eggs,” he notes in a Purina media release promoting backyard chickens.

Purina showcased how for one 6-year-old boy, chickens have assisted with his autism therapy. His mother, Meredith Waskow-Bend, says her son James learned how much to feed the hens, fill up their waterers and tell which hen laid each egg he collects. After he finishes caring for the hens’ needs, he likes to read to them. Waskow-Bend says she’s noticed a marked difference in James thanks to the bond that he’s formed with his chickens.

Despite some negative sentiment some poultry producers hold against backyard flocks due to their potential for transmitting diseases, raising chickens at home can bring joy to their owners. The routine of raising chickens provides a therapeutic effect through the comfort, happiness and even companionship many families find in caring for their birds.

So as you’re managing your farm this growing season, perhaps consider adding your own flock of therapy chickens? You’ll be cracking more eggs (and perhaps an extra smile or two) in no time.

Back to news


Spell Check

David Stanley
San Diego, CA
7/12/2017 11:14 PM

  Whether horses, dogs, pigs or goats are used, smart folks are discovering the benefits of animal therapy. Partly because of this healing affect, farmstay get-a-ways are growing in popularity. Not just for the immediate boost that comes from escaping the city and encouraging your loved ones to unplug, but also for the therapeutic affect farm animal interaction provides. This experience offers an unusual alternative to what everyone else is doing! Places like Morning Song Farm offer plenty to do in the middle of Southern California's wine country playground, and lots of healthy organic fruit and vegetables to enjoy. See:


Corn College TV Education Series


Get nearly 8 hours of educational video with Farm Journal's top agronomists. Produced in the field and neatly organized by topic, from spring prep to post-harvest. Order now!


Market Data provided by
Brought to you by Beyer