First, I would like to introduce to you my chief hatch advisor and counselor,
Jordan Horton. Jordan is quite experienced in hatching out chickens with
an incubator. He has about thirty chickens now, with the incubator full
of eggs at this writing. His experience has helped us a lot in getting
ChickaBoo into the world, and he is helping us do the right things to help
ChickaBoo grow up to be what he needs to be. If you would like to visit
with Jordan, his email address is firstname.lastname@example.org. He will be glad
to hear from you. Here, he is holding Boo Boo's one and only ever little
We have a little challenge with ChickaBoo. Soon after hatching, when just
out of the shell and flopping around on the wire floor of the incubator,
apparently ChickaBoo snagged a claw in the wire and jerked a tendon loose
or a joint out of place. Now, his right leg is twisted sideways and backwards.
We took the little BooChick to see Doc Smith in Hot Springs. We tried to
devise a "sling" to hold the little leg in place, but all it does is keep
ChickaBoo from maneuvering at all. Becky and I tried to devise something
unsuccessfully. Sis and I tried without success. Jordan and I gave it some
deep thought, but right now, little ChickaBoo spends a lot of time down
for the rest, for the effort that it takes to move around.
I think Becky had the best idea. We need a little "walker" on wheels that
ChickaBoo can rest his body in and still move around and get access to
food and water. We would need to keep ChickaBoo on a surface compatible
with little wheels being able to roll. It will have to be of an adjustable
size to accomodate ChickaBoo's growth. In time, then, when grown, Doc Smith
can go in there and reposition some tendons and put a pin in that will
help straighten the leg back to normal. So, I guess we need some prosthetics
for chickens here. We don't want little ChickaBoo to grow up with a nickname
of "Dragstep" as one interviewing radio host suggested.
Just now, as I was writing this, I went to check on some distress chirps
coming from ChickaBoo. I found that he was down and couldn't get up. So,
I took the "walker" idea. I took a sock, cut it off from the toe about
4 inches. I cut little slots for the head, wings, feet, and bottom/tail
to stick out. I put ChickaBoo in this "sling" and adjusted a clothes pin
on the top of it so little chicky will hang about right. I tied a shoe
string through the clothes pin and onto a small curtain rod laid across
the top of the box. I then positioned the food and water at such a height
and proximity so that he can eat and drink. And, that he did. Very contented.
So as I finish this article, ChickaBoo is just swangin', nappin', eatin',
and drinkin'. Maybe we can pull him through.