Nursing Home Hen Update

The pullets at the nursing home are doing great! I checked in several times during the heat wave, and they weren’t suffering from stress during that hot and humid spell. Of course, the nursing home has an ice machine, and so a tub of ice was put into their run daily. The kitchen supplies the chickens with plenty of greens and cantaloupe. The hens vote that kale is their favorite. They also get the occasional outing onto the grass.



A shade tent has been set-up for the comfort of the elders and their visitors.

shade tent


But on this extremely hot day, the residents watched from the window.



I have put together a packet of information that I can provide to facilities interested in bringing chickens into the lives of their elders. I am also available to do a one-hour enrichment program at nursing homes within driving distance of my home near Boston. Email me with contact information for the facility, and I’ll send the packet out.


  1. Was just wondering about the nursing home hens, so glad they are doing well and the residents are enjoying them so. :) I always want to be surrounded by animals in my golden years…what a wonderful thing you are doing!

  2. The hens look great, don’t they! What a great program. This program tells me this is a good place to admit your sick and elderly. They care enough to give good therapeutic help. I hope this spreads far and wide. Good Luck, Terry, promoting and setting up such a worthwhile project.

    • PS- Such a pretty smile on the little lady in the window. :o)

  3. Again, just an AWESOME idea and so glad you put together information for other nursing homes that might add chickens at their places. So glad all is going well :)

  4. Hi Terry, Would you be willing to send me the packet. I am interested in contacting homes here in St Augustine, Florida and hopefully doing the same thing. My husband is a retired contractor and I am a retired counselor. We have chickens, goats, turkeys, and geese. Let me know what you think or we can chat via FB or email first also.
    Thanks, CJ

  5. An ice machine! Greens from the kitchen! The chickens have it pretty good there and it sounds like they are being appreciated. Soon there will be fresh eggs to enjoy.

    We had a cool day yesterday (finally!) and I cleaned out the roosting part of the chicken coop, bagging lots and lots of finely shredded pine shavings and chicken droppings for the compost.

    The little coop and yard at the rest home – are there plans available for this? It seems SO perfect.

    • The coop was purchased from Green Chicken Coops. It is a very nice coop. However, they ship it in pieces, and when it arrived, there was no way to get the heavy boxes off of the truck! All was eventually solved, but it’s never as easy or perfect as it looks. Also, installing it to be predator-proof required some work.

      • Thank you Terry. What you did for the rest home is wonderful. :)

  6. I love this, I shared it on Facebook. What a great addition for the residents of this home.

  7. OT, I don’t know if it’s your new cameras or if you have more bandwith, but what I can see now is so much more fluid than before. In the past I’d see a chicken here, then maybe 3 feet further on its way. Very choppy, with lots of big gaps. Now, I see individual steps, a chicken actually shaking her head, the goats’ jaws actually going up and down. So nice! My bandwith is horribly spotty anyway, but this is a huge improvement in my viewing, which I much appreciate.

  8. I would like to suggest that they hang a small chalk board under the window on the chicken coop where they could post daily how many eggs they got that day. It would another thing for the residents to look forward to seeing. They could even wager a guess as to how many eggs they think they might lay, and look forward to it in anticipation.

  9. What an amazing nursing home that would do all that for their residents! I hope that you are contacted by others to do the same thing. It must be so wonderful for them to watch the “girls” all day. Thank you!

    • The Director is quite forward-thinking, and willing to defend the expense when the accountant from the home office called and asked, “what’s this charge for chickens?”

  10. The nursing home set-up is just so beautiful and now even more so with the added shaded tent for residents’ closer viewing comfort!  I really love the coop and run design and construction so much. Is the beautiful slanted roof of the screen? covered run ever covered with shade cloth for hot sunny days or might be covered in some way for future winter snow for protection from extreme elements? Buffy and her group seem to hang out under their hutch.  

  11. Glad to see that the nursing home pullets are doing well. I was wondering have you heard how Mr. Grumpy and Bride are doing ?

      • I often think about Beryl and Topaz. Feathers always so beautiful and perfect. They went from a condo in Manhattan to a bungalow on the beach. Great life for two lucky girls.

  12. Makes me laugh to watch Beatrix and Owly chase the sparrows out of the run. Their guardians of the Little Barn. :o) Still waiting excitedly for an egg from one of the “girls”. Odds are with Twiggy, but love the idea of a blue one.

    • Owly is the pullet that looks up, so she notices the sparrows. Twiggy is hyper-aware of everything and likes a chance to run!

  13. I’ve tried to convince the Director at NH to bring chickens in, they would be well cared for with three shifts of people and lots of admiring kids. Somehow, he’s not quite there yet. We got frogs instead. Oh, well.