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Montana woman uses chickens as therapy animals

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June 19, 2009 09:33 PM EST | AP

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POLSON, Mont. — Therapy dogs can be a comfort for seniors and those recovering from illnesses and injuries. So how about therapy chickens? Jana Clairmont of Polson, Mont., calls her therapy birds _ a white rooster and Cornish game hen _ "Fowl Play."

On Thursday, she took them to visit residents at Polson Health and Rehabilitation Center in northeast Montana.

Many seniors were raised on farms, Clairmont says, and holding a chicken can bring back memories.

As one man stroked the rooster, Alex, the bird stretched out his neck and rested it across the man's forearm, like a puppy.

Clairmont has arranged visits to retirement and assisted living homes, and says she'd like to take Alex and Carlita, the hen, into classrooms this fall.

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Information from: Missoulian, http://www.missoulian.com