Earlier this year Prospect house welcomed some new additions, three ducks, Sooty Sweep and Sue, the idea came about after a residents meeting. The ducks have been provided with their own accommodation with residents regularly being involved in caring for them. The residents all put names in a hat and came up with many ideas but the winning names were Sooty, Sweep and Sue, the ducks have proved very popular with residents and staff alike, with staff saying that some residents who did not engage much with the activity programme before, have been involved in the feeding & cleaning of the ducks and their home. Caring for and interacting with animals has massive health benefits for people including a decrease in blood pressure and a boost to mental well-being.
Meanwhile at Sunningdale Court, there have also been additions of a different feathered variety, they recently became the proud owners of three chickens.
Sunningdale was booked in to have an Easter activity starting from Monday 6th April called the Living Eggs experience. The idea was that they would have an incubator and ten eggs delivered to them to have for ten days. They would then watch the eggs hatch and see the little chicks grow for the ten days that they had them. Everyone loved watching the eggs hatch and they ended up with five little chicks.
After the ten days were over, the Living Eggs Company were due to collect the equipment and the chicks and that would be the end of the activity but residents and staff had become very attached to the chicks. It was agreed that if they could, they would keep the three female chicks. They bought a coop and a run for the garden. After a ‘name the Chicks’ competition the chickens have now been named Jemima, Betty and Smudge.
They have grown so much and they now roam free in the secure garden outside of the lounge where most of the service users can watch them. Staff member Katy is the main carer for the chicks and she works hard to keep them clean and well looked after but everyone helps.
This activity came at such a lovely time (unknown to staff at the time) as it was a great distraction from the pandemic. The chickens are funny to watch and they are so curious and not afraid of people around them, which is wonderful as it allows the service uses to interact with them.
Currently the chickens are too young to produce eggs yet but there are a couple of service users that are really looking forward to a lovely fresh fried egg sandwich.