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| By Wellvyl Media Editorial

Yes…Therapy Birds Are A Thing and Here’s Why

By now you have heard of service pets or comfort animals.  The most common of these furry friends is a therapy dog. You may have seen therapy dogs on the subway, wearing vests or harnesses that say “do not pet” to let you know that they are working.  The newest addition to the service pet category is the “therapy chicken.” “While many people view chickens as something to be barbecued, there is evidence that chickens have high intelligence and can easily create personal bonds with humans.” Adult residential facilities are using therapy chickens to help patients diagnosed with mental illness and high anxiety.  “Chickens as pets are wonderful birds, full of life, and with the instant ability to make us smile.”  


Why Chickens Instead Of Dogs Or Cats?

There are several reasons why chickens may prove to be a better emotional support animal for you instead of a dog or cat.  One reason is that if you have outdoor space like a backyard, chickens cost less to raise than dogs.  Also, if you are allergic to dogs or cats, an emotional support chicken may be a better option for those who desire the comforts of a therapy dog but are allergic.  Moreover, unlike dogs, chickens tend to be more care-free and live without a sense of worry. This behavior may provide a good example for how we should go about living our own lives sometimes.  Surprisingly, “some chickens don’t mind being picked up, stroked, hugged, or cuddled. Chickens are social animals that can be a part of the family.” Each chicken has its own individual personality and the animals possess over 24 different types of vocalizations as well as visual display! And as a bonus, your chicken can provide fresh eggs!  


Can I Raise A Chicken In NYC?

While it is not recommended to keep a chicken entirely in the house or in an apartment, it is possible to raise chickens here in the city where we are constantly confined by small spaces.  You would be surprised to hear that chickens are actually being raised across all five NYC boroughs. Furthermore, raising chickens as pets is legal here in NYC!  “This means that whether you’re on the Upper East Side, Tribeca, or the Bronx, you have the right to raise chickens on your property”.However, it is important to note that it is not legal to raise roosters, geese, ducks, and turkeys here.  

To keep your chickens healthy, chickens need regular daily attention, feed, clean water, and safety in shelters at night. You would also probably want to build a chicken coop if you intend on keeping chickens as pets.  And of course, you should be prepared to provide healthcare for your chicken and consult a veterinarian that has experience with chickens.  And remember that if you choose to raise chickens, they are a pet and should be treated with kindness and respect just like any other pet.