Aviary & Small Animals

The department looks after a wide variety of small animals, poultry and exotic birds.  As part of the department’s work, young animals are occasionally available for sale.  Every young person who works in this department has the opportunity to:

• Work with small animals and birds to carry out a range of tasks including feeding and cleaning accommodation, grooming, handling and health care.
• Understand the importance of animal welfare.
• Work towards an SVQ in animal care.
• Prepare for and compete in local fur and feather shows.  The department has had significant success in this in recent years, coming away from shows with trophies and awards in various categories.

We also organise group activities to help develop social skills including an opportunity to take part in an annual trip involving over-night stays.
Our focus on training and essential life skills, with a view to maximising the opportunities that are available to our young people as they prepare to move on from Cantraybridge, is enhanced through recognising that:

• Just being around animals and caring for them can be hugely beneficial both physically and mentally.  It is now well documented that holding and stroking animals can relieve feelings of tension and anxiety.
• Animal assisted interventions can be used to help with maintaining mobility and improving co-ordination and people can learn transferrable skills to assist them in daily life.
• Animals can promote a sense of responsibility and empathy with others.
• Animals can combat loneliness and encourage social integration.
• Animals can promote self-esteem, independence and self-confidence.