Picture: Pixabay

Nursing homes across Britain are opening their doors to new house guests.

Chickens were introduced to retirement homes to curb depression and loneliness, and it's had far-reaching effects.

"I thought it was the most idiotic and stupid idea in the world," said one pensioner when he first heard of the plans.

Residents are responsible for feeding, collecting their eggs and maintaining their coops. One resident Owen Turnbull has taken so much to caring for the chickens, that he takes them on roadshow trips to schools and retirement homes.

The HenPower programme was started in 2011 as an effort to encourage older people to stay active in their later years. Programmes like this one are having a huge impact on overall health and wellbeing. It also reduces depression and the need for certain medications