I don’t need to tell you that we are living in difficult times. During difficult and stressful times, we are all looking for ways to maintain positive mental health. One way that I have found to maintain positive mental health is through farm animals. Owning and caring for farm animals is a great source of comfort. Not only for you but for children as well.
Disclaimer: I am not a mental health professional. This article is informational and not meant to provide medical advice. If you are experiencing feelings of despair or hopelessness, please talk to a health care professional, pastor, or call the National Suicide Hotline at 1-800-273-8255. You are not alone and help is available!
Which Farm Animals are Right for You?
Before we discuss the positive mental health of farm animals, first you must know there are many farm animals to own. There are many reasons to own farm animals. Read my article, about choosing the right farm animals called Take the 5 Day Farm Animal Challenge. Sign up for the free challenge to know the right farm animals for you. There are many advantages and disadvantages to owning different farm animals.
If you haven’t signed up for the Free 5 day Farm Animal Challenge to know which farm animals are right for you, please sign up now!
Ther are 7 ways farm animals provide positive mental health during uncertain times.
- are good listeners.
- provide mental comfort.
- are a good source of entertainment.
- develop routines and responsibilities in your life.
- need to be cared for.
- produce food that gives us peace of mind about food security.
- are oblivious to world events and provide a mental escape.
Farm Animals are Good Listeners
Farm animals are good listeners. Mainly because they cannot talk. I don’t know about you, but I talk to my farm animals. Whether it be my chickens, my cows, my donkeys. Talking to them brings me joy. They can’t understand my words, but I believe they understand our tone. Speaking kind words to animals is good for our soul and good practice for speaking kind words to our fellow human being.
Farm Animals Provide Mental Comfort
When my dad died of cancer, I was overcome with grief. I cried daily for a long time. Although I think it is good to express grief in front of children, I didn’t want my children to see me crying daily. A crying parent can be scary for children. I would often spend time with our guardian dog, Holly. She was an excellent “shoulder” to cry on.
Farm animals can provide mental comfort. Some more so than others. Dogs usually have a dual purpose of pet and guardian animal on the farm. Cats are another dual purpose animal, pet and mouser. Another good comfort animal is a tame cow or horse.
Chickens and other poultry are not necessarily a cuddly shoulder to cry on, but provide a peaceful feeling to watch. There is something about watching chickens scratch and peck that is very comforting.
Farm Animals are a Source of Entertainment
Speaking of watching chickens. Farm animals are a great source of entertainment. They are interesting to watch. Observing animal behavior is very educational and interesting. I have often researched why animals do certain things. For example, when I first started keeping chicken, I had a hen who was puffed out and clucking all the time. She spent all her time in the nesting box. I finally asked my mother in law what was going on with her. She explained that she was a broody hen. Since then, I have raised many chicks using a broody hen. If you would like to learn how to do it, read my article at Insteading.com about hatching chicks without an incubator.
Farm animals are funny. There is nothing more satisfying than watching cattle go out on new pasture. They kick up their heels and run around like playful calves. Baby animals are fun to watch. They often do hilarious things as they learn to navigate their new world. Think goat kids and lambs.
Another example of entertainment is watching cattle graze and chew their cud. It may sound boring now, but when you watch your own cattle happily grazing, it is very peaceful and satisfying to watch the fruit of all your hard work.
Farm Animals Develop Responsibility and Routine
I would say most of my farm animals seem “happy” to see me. Farm animals make you feel good and important to them. My chickens come running when they see me. Sure, they are only looking for food, but still, it is nice to see them running towards me.
Humans thrive on routine. When you are feeling down and don’t want to get out of bed, farm animals force you to get up, get dressed, and go out to feed and water them. You cannot just take care of them when you feel like it. They require care. This is a great way to get outside and break an unhealthy thinking pattern.
This is great for not only you but for your children. Farm animals will teach your children responsibility. Giving your child a farm animal will give them a job to do. My advice is that you do not give in to your children and do their chores when they don’t feel like doing them! I only do my children’s chores when they are sick or have a planned event.
Farm Animals Need You
Farm animals need you. They give you sense of purpose. You are their provider and their lives are in your hands. It is important to take the 5 day farm animal challenge to determine which farm animals are right for you. Sign up to take the 5 day farm animal challenge.
Farm Animals Provide Peace through Food Security
Farm animals are more than just something nice to look at. They have a purpose. Chicken produce eggs. Dairy cows and goats produce milk. Beef cattle and pigs produce meat. Farm animals give you mental peace by providing food security during uncertain times. If you sign up for the 5-day farm challenge, I address the purpose of each farm animal.
Farm Animals Provide a Mental Distraction
Farm animals are oblivious to current events. Sometimes it is nice just to turn off the T.V. and internet and go outside and observe your animals. They are happily going about their day with no concept of world problems. It is important to just sit and observe a mother cow nursing her calf, young goats butting heads, and a rooster crowing on top of a fence post. For a moment, all seems right with the world. Take time to just thank God for His beautiful creation.
I have outlined the 7 reasons farm animals provide positive mental health. However, I want to note that farm animals are not a replacement for human interaction. We have all found that during quarantined times how important face to face human interaction is and human touch is.
If you are feeling depressed or having feelings of hopelessness, please do 2 things. Cry out to God in prayer. Call the Suicide prevention hotline 1-800-273-8255.
You are important. Your story needs to be heard. God loves you and you are important.
Do your farm animals help you with your mental health? Let me know your favorite farm animal and how it has enriched your mental health.