It was one of those chicken and egg situations. Inspired by an article about chickens in rest homes, Wallingford Home Nurse Manager Raewyn was keen to explore more. After hearing about a relocating Timaru family who needed to rehome their much loved hens, a cunning plan was hatched; “Star” and “Chookie” would become part of the lively family at Wallingford.
When moving day came, Chief Problem Solver Shaun was onsite and ready for action. Although chicken relocation fowl outside his role as PSSC Property Supervisor, Shaun knew there was no point chickening out – he would simply be hen-pecked by his colleagues until the job was done.
No longer a spring chicken, Shaun was shaking his tail feathers at the prospect of having to chase and catch hens, but that proved easy compared to hauling the heavy “Cluckingham Palace” henhouse up a steep slope and onto a trailer!
All and sundry were soon packed up and ready to go, with PSSC Health & Safety Officer Shaun relieved to note that no eggs had been laid due to the exertion. Yes, it was definitely something to crow about – Star and Chookie were finally on their way to feather their nests at Wonderful Wallingford.
A few months down the track and the Wallingford chickens are delivering eggsactly what was hoped for, and more. Star and Chookie now live in Cluckingham Palace Mark 2, a brand new home built by a kind volunteer, with community donated materials. Residents enjoy popping outside to feed and watch the hens, where a special nesting seat affords the best view. Visiting grandchildren also love to visit the hens and if lucky, find an egg or two for the Wallingford kitchen.
“We enjoy laying about watching the chooks,” says Herb, a Wallingford resident and keen chicken observer. “I have a clear view of the chicken run from outside my window, so I can keep my eagle eye on them whenever I want.”
The escapades of Star and Chookie, documented in a series of amusing poems by Wallingford Nurse Manager Raewyn, will be compiled into a fundraiser booklet. And while they don’t want to count their chickens before they are hatched,
Wallingford residents are confident that the revenue raised will be seed money for plenty of chicken mash, well into the future.
Watch this space for more on the adventures of Star and Chookie at Wallingford Home!