Rescue chickens given swing to help them through 'lockdown'

  • Watch Woodside Animal Sanctuary's chicken trying out the new swing

If you are feeling a bit 'cooped up' at the moment due to the coronavirus lockdown, spare a thought for the rescue chickens, geese and turkeys at Woodside Animal Sanctuary.

They are being kept inside because of bird flu restrictions and staff are doing their best to keep their 'Clucky Crowd' happy.

Deputy Manager Dawn Cornish says: “Our chickens are currently experiencing the exact same as us human beings.

"We all know the impact that the current lockdown is having on each of us, so staff here at Woodside are doing their upmost to provide extra enrichment to our 'Clucky Crowd'." 

The 'Clucky Crowd' at Woodside when they were able to roam free before avian flu restrictions. Credit: Woodside Animal Welfare Trust

The shelter has set up a wish list on Amazon for items to help keep the birds occupied.

One supporter has already sent them a special swing, which has gone down a treat with one of the chickens, Cocken, who is really getting into the 'swing of it'.

Hens love to perch and quickly adapt to the swing, making it the perfect 'boredom buster'. It can even help stop the birds bullying and pecking each other.

Another way to entertain the chickens is to make them work for their food, perhaps by stringing it up high so they have to reach for it.

Staff have hung up special vegetable kebabs to make life more interesting for the hens. Credit: Woodside Animal Welfare Trust

The farm birds do not just eat chicken feed - vegetables like squash, broccoli and cucumber add interest and are considered a real treat.

The Woodside Animal Welfare Trust is an animal rehoming charity based in Elfordleigh on the outskirts of Plymouth.

As well as young and healthy pets, it has a collection of much-loved residents that are unlikely to be adopted as they are elderly or sick.

In addition to the 'Clucky Crowd', sanctuary animals include dogs, cats, rabbits and hamsters etc as well as a few hand-reared sheep, goats and a pot bellied pig.

Would you like to sponsor the 'Clucky Crowd' and get updates on their progress? Credit: Woodside Animal Welfare Trust

Woodside is closed to visitors at the moment due to coronavirus restrictions and is in desperate need of funds as staff are still having to look after the animals.

The shelter would welcome donations and is also inviting people to sponsor the 'Clucky Crowd'.

Find out more on the Woodside Animal Welfare Trust website.

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