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Care home residents got a taste of spring thanks to the arrival of chicks and ducklings after they hatched in their homes.
Residents at homes operated by CHD Living were given hatching kits by staff as part of an initiative to boost health and well-being.
The eggs, provided by Incredible Eggs, started to hatch within a few days of arriving at the homes, since when residents have had the opportunity to interact with and look after the new arrivals.
Shelagh Howes, 91, from CHD Living’s Surbiton Care Home, said: “The ducklings are very sweet and so soft – they make me smile a lot.
“It’s been lovely having them stay with us and they’ve definitely spread a lot of happiness and excitement for spring.”
According to CHD, residents have been “lavishing them with cuddles, teaching them to swim and making sure they have plenty to eat and drink”.
Some have named their new friends after residents who have passed away over the last year.
CHD Living’s Shaleeza Hasham said animals could “boost general health and well-being” among residents.
“Not only do they bring tremendous amounts of joy, but animals also open up channels for conversation whilst providing sensory stimulation and relaxation too,” she said.
“They’ve made everyone light up with joy. It’s been beautiful to see, especially after the tough year we’ve all had.”
The birds will now stay at the homes where they hatched, where facilities allow.
The rest will be returned to Incredible Eggs – described as the “ethical provider of high-welfare hatching kits”.