Children just love a visit to the Domestic Fowl Trust near Stratford-upon-Avon

If you spend a day at the Domestic Fowl Trust, you’ll notice that most of their customers are young families. Why are so many children choosing poultry for pets? Well, there’s actually good scientific reason for it. Recent studies have revealed that children with pets are healthier and more emotionally balanced. They are less likely to suffer asthma and allergies due to low-level exposure, and are fitter due to time spent outdoors. Pets can improve children’s anxiety and also help with behavioural issues. But why poultry?

Mother of three and chicken owner, Jenny Smith, enthused: “You would not believe the excitement in our household over collecting eggs. We had to install a rota so they can share discovering them in the nest box! And then a rota for who chooses what to cook with them! There’s been an increase in children helping with cooking since we got the hens: dippy eggs, omelettes, pancakes…”

Father of two, Richard Jenkins, joked: “Hens are the only pets I know that offer a return on investment – eggs! We have actually been quite impressed with the way that the boys have taken care of their birds: cleaning out and feeding treats and so on. I think it’s been very good for them.”

Domestic Fowl Trust owner, Alister Jones, said: “Not everyone is fortunate enough to have a garden suitable for poultry and that’s why we have a lot of schools buying coops and hens from us. They tell us that they have seen an improvement in the mood of children with behavioural difficulties who seem to be calmed by being with the hens. Other schools are able to incentivise good handwriting by offering eggs as prizes at the end of the week! Some schools choose to buy hatching eggs from us every year so that their children can enjoy the magic of watching fluffy chicks emerge from their eggs after just three weeks.”

This magical hatching from eggs does seem to be part of the draw for children. They love to learn about hens and ducks, which are quite different from the mammals that they are familiar with.

The Domestic Fowl Trust, at Snitterfield, Stratford-upon-Avon, was established in 1976 and is dedicated to helping the first time keeper discover the joys of owning hens. They are open six days per week, manufacture their own range of hen houses, breed and sell hens, supply feed, bedding and everything else the new and established keeper needs.

They can be contacted on 01789 850046 or visit their website

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