Caitlin Fitch

Scene in S.B.: Inside Cluckingham Palace

Chick Therapy Thrives at Crescend Health’s Mountain House Facility

Last spring, Crescend Health’s Mountain House — a facility across from Rocky Nook Park in Mission Canyon that cares for people suffering from psychiatric and addictive disorders — launched a surprisingly successful program called Poultry Therapy, in which clients learn how to care for a restored old chicken coop and its hens. The practice provides a strong sense of self-confidence as well as other positive psychological perks. Coop manager Dion Cherot (pictured), who suffers from schizophrenia, finds that caring for the hens calms his anxieties and provides relief from some previously debilitating symptoms. “The chickens are very affectionate, and they sing while I paint outside the coop,” he said. The coop, affectionately called Cluckingham Palace, is visited throughout the day by clients and staff looking for the peaceful atmosphere. Along with all the therapeutic benefits, the chickens provide about five fresh, organic eggs a day, which clients are able to eat during their stay at the center.

To submit a comment on this article, email or visit our Facebook page. To submit information to a reporter, email

Be succinct, constructive, and relevant to the story. Leaving a comment means you agree to our Discussion Guidelines. We like civilized discourse. We don't like spam, lying, profanity, harassment or personal attacks.

comments powered by Disqus
event calendar sponsored by:
This Week's Issue

Steven Seagal Named Special Envoy by Russia

The former Santa Ynez resident is a Russian citizen.

County Services Transitioning Away from Montecito Disaster Center

Post-1/9 support will still be available at

Goleta Limits Accessory Dwelling Units to 800 Square Feet

The city followed most of the state's ADU rules, though two large projects swept through before the ...

New Coast Guard Cutter Named After Fallen Officer

Terrell Horne III was murdered near Santa Cruz Island in 2012.

SBCC Promise a Draw for High School Grads

Program offers two free years to dedicated students.