CHERRY HILL, N.J. - You may have heard of therapy dogs or even therapy horses, but Rosebud the therapy chicken is a whole different breed.
This two-year-old ball of feathers was visiting the TOPS adult day program at the Jewish community center in Cherry Hill, where she's always a hit.
Rosebud's owner Gwenne Baile is a retired nurse-midwife who loves chickens and has taken classes to be a therapy chicken handler.
"She's very soft, she's very nonthreatening and most people just really enjoyed the whole feel of her and the stroking of her calms them," said Baile.
Stephan Slowinski, a client at TOPS, likes to sing to Rosebud.
"Well she is very soft and cuddly and a good friend," said Slowinski.
In fact most of the people at TOPS seem to enjoy Rosebud's company.
"I like her calm demeanor and the way her feathers feel smooth," said Erica Gensel.
Baile said she knew when Rosebud was just a chick that she had the right stuff, the perfect temperament to become a therapy chicken.
"I realized that she loved to be held," said Baile. "She liked to be on my lap and be cuddled."
Rosebud is one busy chicken. She has her own Facebook page, and she also regularly visits senior citizen homes, libraries, schools and festivals free of charge.
"I do see us as being chicken ambassadors," said Baile. "Showing people that they're not dirty barnyard animals."
Rosebud wears a little diaper for inside visits and there's always hand sanitizer after. A few moments with this 4 pound hen can be a relaxing treat--just ask 29-year-old Greg Wineland.
"Feels like a miracle," said Wineland. "A wonderful experience."
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