There’s been a lot of clucks, squawks, and cackling coming from the five new residents of the Community Strategies group home in Bellingham.
These new residents are known to play in the grass, lay eggs, occasionally fight each other, and wander around the backyard all day in search of food and a comfortable place to rest.
The new household members are rust-colored Rhode Island Red hens who have recently made a new home at the Bellingham residence this past September.
These chickens were first bred in Massachusetts and Rhode Island during the 1890s. They officially became the state bird of Rhode Island in 1954. They’re known for their high egg production, yielding about five per week.
The Rhode Island Reds are very adaptable to extreme changes in weather. They can thrive in both cold and hot temperatures, making them a perfect breed of chicken in the ever-changing climate of New England. They are also friendly and easy to maintain, which makes them a perfect fit for the Bellingham residence.
A few of the clients in the Bellingham residence, most notably Seth Cullity, enjoy taking care of the Reds. Seth checks on them to see that they’re well fed and have plenty of water. He also cleans the chicken coop daily, making sure that they have a well-kept roost. Seth has the responsibility of making sure that the Reds are safely in the coop at night, protecting them from nighttime predators.
“I’ve been taking care of chickens for many years,” Seth said. “I used to help raise them at my grandmother’s when I was younger. I enjoy taking care of them.”
Seth isn’t the only one who enjoys spending time with the chickens. Per Hanson, another resident, will go outside from time to time to help feed the chickens or bring them some water.
The Red hens help give the clients in Bellingham a sense of pride and responsibility. Taking care of the feisty chickens is a busy job, but the men are up for it. The residents enjoy keeping up with their duties, which helps them develop a sense of accountability in their daily lives.