Chickens to the rescue

Craig’s love for animals helps him fight mental health

Craig was always happiest when it came to animals, whether it was chatting about his family’s cats or visiting the dogs at the dog park. So two years ago, when his depression and anxiety made it hard for Craig to leave his room, it was his love of animals that turned things around.

One day Craig’s House Supervisor Madelaine Ross was watching Craig engage with the wild birds in the backyard when she had an idea – maybe Craig would like to have pet chickens.

It was a huge project, but with support from staff, Craig made it happen. He researched chickens with Maddie and got advice from Paula and Raelene, who both had chickens of their own. He went out and bought a chicken coop, then with Brad’s help assembled it and built a chicken run. He bought all the things the chickens would need, like food bins, bedding, and laying pallets.

Home@Scope customer Craig looking after his chickens

At last it was time for the final step: Craig went out and picked up four ISA Brown chickens. Craig has thrived with the joy and responsibility of caring for his new friends. Every day, he feeds his chickens and proudly collects their eggs to sell. With support, he cleans their coop and goes to buy their food.

Best of all, he loves just spending time with them.

Craig still has difficult days with his depression and anxiety. But, no matter what, he always gets up in the morning to look after his chickens.