The Rosemead Project based in Southend on Sea is a group that is run in aid of helping ex-offenders and homeless people to get back on their feet with the opportunity of a fresh start.

The project provides a short term place to stay, social opportunities and group responsibilities to help support the transition to independence. One of the many ways the team introduce group responsibilities is by keeping chickens. This not only gives out the role of caring for the animals but provides fresh eggs to use in the kitchen for making group meals and baking.

Support Worker Johnathan at Rosemead said: “Last summer we got three rescue hens, Gertrude, Agnes and Edna who have all been an excellent addition to the project. Our residents have interacted really well to our new additions and we can see they have grown in their progress. They are getting up early to let the girls out, helping staff clean and feed them and even using their own money to buy treats!

The hens have been a real help to the residents with their rehabilitation.”

“Previously we used traditional hay from the local pet shop. Whilst this was adequate for what we required, we did find that it produced a lot of dust and wasn’t very absorbent. It was also a real chore to clean out!

When we first tried easichick we were dubious whether it would be a better option, however we were pleasantly surprised. There was no dust and when cleaning out it was much simpler just to empty the dirty contents into the compost heap. We also found we didn’t need to use as much easichick as we did hay to create the same soft layer in the coop. So ultimately it is more cost effective, which for a charitable organisation is a huge bonus!” said Jonathan.

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