Could chickens help beat loneliness and depression?

Chickens being looked after at care home helps residents with loneliness & depression Credit: MEN Syndication

People in care homes have been given chickens to stop them feeling lonely and depressed - and they’re absolutely loving their new feathered friends. Crossroads Together, a Greater Manchester-based charity behind the Social Hen Homes Project, said that some older people can go weeks without seeing anyone. The initiative, launched earlier this month, is designed help combat loneliness and depression among older people.Five care homes in Rochdale have each taken delivery of five chicks.Residents will take care of them and it is hoped it will help them gain a sense of purpose, while improving wellbeing and social interaction.As well as feeding and caring for the animals, the pensioners will also collect eggs once the hens are old enough to start laying.

Crossroads Together has received funding for the project from Heywood, Middleton and Rochdale Clinical Commissioning Group as part of its ‘Strengthening Communities’ scheme.Francesca Hawley, manager of Rosemary Care Home in Milnrow, which is one of the homes involved in the project, said

Chickens being cared for at 5 care homes in Rochdale Credit: MEN

The Social Hen Homes Project is being delivered in partnership with students and teachers from Hopwood Hall College’s animal management facility.The college will help support the project lead and will be on hand for on-going advice and to support the care homes with caring for their hens.

Feathered friends Credit: MEN