Therapy farm adopts therapeutic hens

Posted 4th July 2017 11:43am by

Twenty ex-commercial hens due for slaughter have embarked on a new venture at a therapy farm in Colchester after being re-homed from a hen welfare charity.

Nurture Dogs inc Dedham Therapy Farm CIC is a non-profit organisation which offers occupational therapy to members of the community. The farm re-homed 20 hens from the British Hen Welfare Trust last month and they will become part of a therapy programme helping people to experience the joy animals can bring.

Dedham Farm, run largely by volunteers, offers individual or group animal therapy to help people recover from a variety of life challenges such as autism, anxiety and various learning difficulties.

With the farm looking to educate their service-users about good animal husbandry, they decided to adopt hens at a re-homing in Great Totham.

Occupational therapist Dave De’ath, who runs the farm with his wife Gill, told us: “We viewed this as an exciting opportunity to re-home animals in need of our help.

“Our service-users have been busy helping out with the day-to-day care of the hens such as feeding, cleaning out their houses, keeping the hen water drinkers topped up and having lots of hen cuddles!”

Dave said the aim of the farm was to introduce people to the therapeutic value of the human/animal bond.

Dedham Farm covers 14 acres and houses many farm animals which are used in its animal therapy programmes.

“The new arrivals are slowly adjusting to a free-range life mixing with our resident chickens, as well as ducks, ‘Colonel’ our turkey and our flock of geese,” added David. “The farm will be holding an open day on Saturday, 1st July and everyone is welcome to come and visit us”.

The British Hen Welfare Trust is passionate about making people aware of the therapeutic effect hens can have on people, and encourages those who would like to know more to get in touch about adopting some.

The BHWT will be re-homing in Great Totham on Sunday, 30 July. If you would like to give a hen a happy home simply visit