Nursing Home Hens Update

The flock at Life Care of Nashoba Valley are doing great!



The team of maintenance men who take care of the building and grounds are all trained to care of the hens. I recently stopped by to make sure that they were on top of winter requirements. They’re fine about hauling water out. A tarp will be installed over the run so that it is dry and free of snow.

They’re doing something right there, because they collect four to five eggs a day from five hens. That’s not enough to use in the dining room, but it is enough to reward the people who take care of the chickens.

When I selected the pullets for this flock, I knew that one hen, the Buff Orpington, would be special. She was the most naturally calm and friendly chick I’ve ever known. She’s been named Clementine, and she has totally endeared herself to one of the caregivers at the home. Lisa spends her lunch break with Clementine. Now that the weather is cold and the residents are staying mostly indoors, Lisa has been bringing Clementine inside to visit. I hear that she nestles against Lisa’s shoulder and chuck-chucks happy noises.

When I checked in, Clementine was  busy laying an egg so I didn’t interrupt her. I did, though, get to hear her cheerfully chuckle as she sat in the nesting box. What a sweet hen!



Once every few months, Steve gets together with some friends to play poker. Being guys, they don’t talk about personal stuff. At this last poker game, one of the men said to Steve, “Isn’t it your wife who got the chickens to Life Care? My father lives there and when I visit, we go out to the coop. It gives us something to do and talk about.”

Exactly. That’s exactly what the hens are there for.



If you are new to my blog, you can read the backstory about the nursing home hens beginning here.


  1. That is such a great idea you had there Terry, the elderlies must love sitting there and watching the girls go about their business. Long may it continue.

  2. I was just wondering about the nursing home hens the other day…thank you for the update. So glad to hear it’s working out so well.

  3. I was also thinking about those girls! So nice to see pictures and hear about how Clementine gets to go inside.

  4. Glad to hear how the hens are doing. How wonderful Clementine gets to go inside :)

  5. For a second their when I saw Clementine’s picture I thought she had gone broody !!. Good to hear that she isnt and that the Nursing Home hens are doing well. Though she or one of the others might go broody come this spring, or Clementine might be like Amber and never go broody. Terry other Lauren Scheuer’s Buff Orphington Lil White have you ever known a mean Buff Orphington ? Acourse in opposite it seems that all of Lauren’s barred Rocks the living ones Lucy and Dorrie to her greatly missed Pigeon have been great friendly birds. So I guess you never know what kind of personality you will get any in any chicken breed. Also I was wondering I know that when Lauren visits her dog Marky likes to hang out with Lily, so I was wondering was it the same for her dog Angel and Scooter ?

  6. The original post of the nursing home hens is what made me start following your blog. I pinned that post to Pinterest and had an actual nursing home re-pin it. I bet you’ve had nursing homes across the nation follow your lead! Bless you for being so thoughtful, creative, and industrious. To enrich the final years of those that have lived such rich lives – it’s simply a wonderful thing you’ve done.

  7. Very, very happy for the chickens and the residents. Clementine is such a doll baby! Thanks for the update on this project. I stay very much interested in this project. Wishing Steve many hands of the nuts. Bless you Terry.

  8. I love this success story – and I’m inspired to perhaps do something similar in our neck of the woods. I do love my chickens.

    I have a chicken question for you – do you provide heat for yours during the cold winter months? I have put a red flood light in my coop to give them some warmth that is not as intense as a “heat lamp”…it does keep the water from freezing in their coop and gives them a little warmth. Just want to make sure it’s the – right- thing to do for them, not just making ME feel more comfortable. This has been my practice for a year now. Wanted to know your opinion.. there are so many.

  9. It was an excellent idea and has, as intended, done so much good. Lovely to read the update. On the first photo, seeing the Marans mae me wonder if she laid lighter-coloured eggs, like Veronica, as she came from the same hatchery.

  10. Clementine is doing the Buffies proud! I admit to prejudice in their favor because of my own four Orpington gals. So funny, sweet, curious and friendly! Splendid to have an update, Terry — thanks!