Egg Industry News and Commentary

  —  Jun 16

Chickens as Therapy Animals


A recent press release noted that a nutritionist affiliated to a prominent U.S. feed manufacturer has initiated a program using chickens for comfort and therapy.

While this commentator positively favors pet-facilitated therapy, the selection of chickens is highly questionable. A recent posting on EGG-CITE documents the large number of clusters of salmonellosis associated with backyard chickens and the purchase of chicks and ducklings.


As with pet turtles in the 1970s, chickens are “inappropriate pets.” Given the availability of suitable dog breeds and even cats, children with autism and developmental abnormalities could derive comfort and benefit from animals other than chickens.

Apart from the ever present danger of shedding pathogens including Salmonella, chickens cannot be house trained, and important to development, have a relatively short lifespan. Introduction of chickens into a household with children who are immunosuppressed or in fragile health is be medically contraindicated.