Saturday, September 20, 2014

One Happy Chicken

Why Are We Smiling?:

Well, we got this little chicken who had been attacked by a dog and, from that, had one foot that was curled up into a ball and essentially useless for walking purposes. Once she was named (Anna Lee) and part of the family we just couldn't tolerate what had happened to her foot and set out to fix it.

Using a plastic lid, a piece of scrap cedar wood, some small screws, some pop rivets, a hinge and some masking tape we fashioned a little shoe that we hoped would fix her foot. Sounds unlikely doesn't it? Yeah, that's what we thought too but, lo and behold - it worked!

Here's how it went - first, we cut the rim off of the plastic lid and refined the shape with a pair of scissors. Here you can see Annalee and the fitting process (I've un-curled her toes and forced them into a flat plane for the fitting):

Next we attached a small hinge to the plastic base using pop rivets and, to the other  side of the hinge, we attached a short piece of wood. The latter we sanded very smooth as it would be in direct contact with her leg. Then, using masking tape, we attached the wood "strut" to the back of her leg and the plastic base to the bottom of her foot, positioning the leg and foot strategically as we went.

The moment of truth! It wasn't  pretty but this little shoe allowed us to un-curl and secure all of her toes back into a flat plane:

She took to using it right away. We left it on for just one week then removed it and, believe it or not, the toes stayed put and Annalee has been walking around like a champ ever since!

This would have cost us who-knows-how-much money if we'd even been able to find a vet that would bother with this issue. At times like these we are glad to be able to use our noggins rather than our wallets!

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