They are miserable-looking creatures. Featherless, off-balance, skittish to the point of terror. Also, incredibly lucky. These are “rescue” chickens, formerly caged as egg producers in an industrial hatchery somewhere in southern Ontario.
The chickens are being used as therapy animals to treat a small group of troubled children living in a nearby group home. Shepherd thought interacting with the chickens might help teach the boys empathy. “But they were already so gentle with them, right from the start,” she says. “They worry if the chickens are afraid or if its sweater is too tight.”