At the U of M, end of the line for a ‘hardworking chicken’

If you’re a present or former University of Minnesota student who occasionally found a calmness in poultry,you’ll want to sit down for this:

Woodstock the therapy chicken is dead.

Minnesota Daily reports Woodstock, 10, died earlier this month. The chicken joined the Pet Away Worry and Stress team four years ago and brought comfort to countless students, the paper says.

Woodstock visited the campus once a week, calmly waiting for students to walk by and say “hello.”

“[When going to PAWS] I just was immediately attracted to Woodstock,” said senior German, Scandinavian and Dutch major Trevor Mitchell, who has visited PAWS for two years. “[She] was probably the calmest bird I’ve ever interacted with.”

Woodstock, a novelty among her canine colleagues, was popular with PAWS regulars and newcomers alike and enjoyed the human interaction, he said.

“When I’d pet her or scratch behind her head or something, she’d fall asleep in the basket,” Mitchell said.

Woodstock will be remembered for her distinct hairstyle and an afro-like tuft of fluff atop her head, said junior Olivia Trudeau, who has frequented PAWS for two years.

“[Woodstock’s owner] would say you don’t want to touch her hair even though it’s fluffy because, like all women, she doesn’t like her hair touched,” she said.

Bailey, an animal-assisted interaction program specialist with the school’s Center for Spirituality and Healing, loved Woodstock’s ability to help stressed students calm down and take time for self-care.

Beyond her quirky pluck, students interacting with Woodstock connected on a close, chicken-to-human level, said Dave Golden, director of public health and communications at Boynton.

“We learned a lot from the chicken,” Golden said. “In a lot of ways, I feel like we got schooled by her.”

Around campus, she’ll be remembered as a celebrity.

“We got a lot of requests for Woodstock,” Golden said. “She was a hardworking chicken.”

Woodstock has already been replaced. Attila the Hen is the new therapy chicken.