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Little chicks ignite memories

An egg hatching program at a Victorian aged care facility is helping ignite old memories as residents fondly recall childhood experiences of collecting eggs and chasing after chickens in their backyards.

An egg hatching program at a Victorian aged care facility is helping ignite old memories as residents fondly recall childhood experiences of collecting eggs and chasing after chickens in their backyards.

Aged care provider, Benetas, has introduced to its Gladswood Lodge facility the Henny Penny Hatching program – a 12 day program which involves an incubator with 10 to 12 ready to hatch eggs.

There is a clear sided brooding pen with two to three newly hatched chooks, feed and other necessary things for the program are supplied and set up by the Henny Penny staff member.

Program coordinator, Gaganpreet Toor, tells DPS News the Henny Penny Hatching program originally started in Queensland as part of the Old McDonalds Farm franchise, where the farm comes to you.

The chicken hatching part of the program was so popular that in 2002 the company created Henny Penny Hatching.

According to Ms Toor, Henny Penny Hatching is a “clean, inexpensive and hassle free program”.

“It provides residents with hours of enjoyment, which is an ideal source of entertainment for those visiting grandkids,” she says.

“The little peck hole which appears in the egg neck, sometimes followed by a break, always draws comments, then the observers watch with fascination and awe as a tiny chick gradually emerges and kicks itself free from the shell.”

Gladswood Lodge has about eight new hatchings and there are about 10 little chicks running around the pen.

Residents are able to keep the chickens, however if facilities are unable to house the birds, there are several hobby farms and children’s farms that adopt the chickens.

During the duration of the program, there is less use of the lodge’s television and greater resident involvement by managing tasks such as keeping an eye on the next hatching egg, making sure the chickens have enough feed and water and also keeping a close watch on the facility cat!

Pictured is Gladswood Lodge resident, Alice Johnston, getting chirpy with one of the chicks.

“Residents love having Henny Penny at the lodge. From old memories being recounted around the brooding pen, as residents fondly recall childhood experiences, the program brings hours of enjoyment and discussion among residents,” Ms Toor says.

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