Flock of 'therapy chickens' soothes residents at retirement village

Our reporter Paul Crone went to meet those feeling calmed by feathered friends

Petting chickens has become a form of therapy for residents at a retirement village in Lancashire.

Staff say the birds provide "emotional support" by reducing anxiety and stress and offer nostalgia to pensioners whose families once raised their own poultry.

Ten chicks were gifted to Buckshaw Retirement Village in Chorley by a teacher who was involved in a hatching programme at a local primary school.

Many residents had pets before moving into the village and the chicks help to provide a sense of "routine and community." Credit: ITV News

The birds are living in a donated coop in the middle of the village's garden and residents are helping to care for them.

Site manager Hayley Rowson de Vares said: "They can stroke the chickens. It's about touch. It’s about hearing. It’s about seeing the chickens.

"It's just stimulating all those memories from when they were younger and kind of transporting them back to when they were younger and bringing pleasant memories back to mind."

A donated coop is home to the birds in the retirment village garden. Credit: ITV News

Pensioners who live at the complex told ITV News how much they enjoyed spending time with the chicks.

"I like the pleasantness of them," said resident Bill Williams, "and they they give everybody a boost - including me."

Daisy Prince explained to Croney how important it is to keep the chicks safe.

"You've got to make sure that they're well housed and well fed," she said, "and make sure no foxes come visiting."