While some animals, such as dogs and cats, are often known to be healers of human ailments, chickens tend to be overlooked. It’s important to give chickens the recognition they deserve for helping humans through traumatic situations. In fact, they’ve proven to be more than a meal. Consider the benefits of chickens on mental health and well-being.
A story of abuse
When Nikki Pike was a child, she was sexually abused. This caused her to escape to her backyard to spend time with her mother’s hens Nibble, Noodle and Nugget. The chickens changed her life by helping her get through the abuse she endured. The strong bond she developed with the hens was an experience she remembered throughout the years as she grew up.
Today, Nikki suffers from severe anxiety that makes it difficult for her to enjoy life. Besides this, her two sons and husband are affected by her poor mental health state. One weekend, she decided to take care of three young chicks. The goal was to provide a fun experience for her kids. Her family realized the chickens were significantly helping to improve her mental health. Now Pike copes with severe anxiety attacks and depression by taking care of chickens. This allows her to rely less on medication. Plus, she feels happier and has fewer anxiety attacks.
Hens help youth and seniors thrive
Many nursing homes and retirement communities are embracing the benefits of hen therapy. For one, Mountain House is an adult residential facility that includes chickens in a program to benefit those with high anxiety and mental illness. Morningside Health Center has chicken coops on site so residents can care for them and gain the benefits of therapy. According to studies, nursing homes that incorporate chicken therapy have more visits from loved ones, a reduced need for antipsychotic drug use and less resident-to-resident altercations.
Furthermore, some cities don’t understand the benefits of hen therapy and have banned them. Pike knows differently and has been working hard to change the law so people who need chickens have the chance to heal. One man in particular contacted Pike about his eight-year-old daughter. She suffers from severe anxiety and the only therapy animal she’s not allergic to is chickens. If she can’t spend time with the chickens, she might revert back to her poor mental health state. Pike won’t give up because many people can and do benefit from keeping hens around.
Why do chickens heal people?
If taken care of correctly, chickens live in an idyllic world of their own. Since they tend to live on farms, people often feel comforted by their presence. Further, cleaning up after chickens can be healing because cleaning is often known to be a calming domestic task. Another reason for their healing ability is probably because, with hens, there’s nothing to fear. This can be especially true of someone who’s been abused as a child. Children who’ve been abused don’t usually trust those close to them. But spending time with hens can give them inner peace which tends to ease their anxiety and depression symptoms.
Chickens are more than just a meal
While plenty of people perceive chickens as just a meal on a plate. others see things differently. Chickens have proven to be therapeutic and, in many cases, worthwhile companions. Whether they have mental health issues or not, people can gain peace of mind by treating hens with love and respect. It’s important to be open to new ideas that can improve everyone’s lives. Possibly one of the best ways to heal oneself is to be grateful for animals.
As humans learn more about animals, they start to see the benefits of treating them better. Not only can animals be therapeutic, but some end up being someone’s best friend. For this reason and more, maybe people should consider the unselfish benefits of leaving chickens and others off of their plates.