BOSTON (CBS) – It is delicate surgery. Get this, a chicken getting a prosthetic leg. It may sound like something out of the laboratory of Colonel Sanders, but a local woman wants to pay for the surgery. She thinks the only alternative is to euthanize the bird.
Tufts veterinary surgeons are poised to help this chicken walk again. Cecily is a 3-month-old chicken with a big problem, a bum leg caused by a slipped tendon that wasn’t fixed when she was a chick.
“It started to allow her leg not to grow properly and bend her leg around. So it’s basically useless for her right now,” says Andrea Martin, a chicken rescuer from Clinton.
Martin found a new home for Cecily, but says the hen can’t live a proper chicken’s life with only one good leg. “She can’t roost. She can’t really do anything a normal chicken can do,” Martin says.
So Andrea and Cecily’s new owner are footing the $2500 bill for a prosthetic leg. The amputation surgery is planned for the Cummings Veterinary School at Tufts, probably later this week.
“While she’s sedated, using a CT scan, do a copy of this foot (the good foot). Then submit that for them to make a 3-D printed, plastic prosthetic they’re going to pop on,” says Martin.
Now we know what you’re thinking; it’s only a chicken, but not to Andrea or the new owner who looks at Cecily as a pet. “They deserve a good life. They deserve everything. So we don’t see any other option other than giving them what they need,” Martin says.
Other birds have received prosthetic legs before, but this will be the first of it’s kind at Tufts, according to Martin.