8/31/11

Ducky and her orthopedic shoes

This is Ducky.

These are Ducky's feet.

Notice how they curl?
Ducky can't straighten her toes.


In all my years of raising baby chicks, this is the first time I've encountered this.
I first noticed Ducky's feet when she was 2 days old..... I could tell she wasn't able to walk or stand very steady like the other chicks, so I picked her up and was shocked at what I saw. She also seemed to have some other problems- she was not interested in food or water and she was a lot smaller than any of the other chicks. I swallowed hard and thought maybe it was best to let nature take it's course, if you know what I mean....
But you know me- I couldn't let go without at least giving Ducky a fighting chance.

She was at once put on some drops of some special liquid baby formula (powdered vitamins and sugar water) and after spending several hours on the internet researching chicks with curled or deformed feet I found what I had been looking for. Apparently this is not an uncommon occurrence, and frankly I was a little surprised that I had never had this happen before. I'm still not sure what caused Ducky's problem, but according to some of the helpful websites I found it could have been caused by several different things. I also found the directions for making splints for the toes to correct the problem using cardboard and tape- but only if it was caught in time. I was optimistic that Ducky was young enough that her feet could be fixed- that is, if  she survived the next few days.

A day passed, then another... then another...

After three days of giving her my special formula, she seemed to be getting a little stronger.

Ducky was.... well, plucky!

I brought her into the house to fit her for her special booties to correct the toes, and had to get out my magnifying glasses because her feet were so tiny. To make matters worse, Silkies have 5 toes instead of 4 like other chickens do, and trying to cram the little toes of a squirmy baby chick onto a tiny piece of cardboard was going to be a real test of my patience. (Not to mention eyesight.)
But if Ducky was going to have a chance for normal feet it was now or never.

Lily, meet Ducky.
Ducky, Lily.

 Here are the "soles" of her booties....














Here we are with one shoe on, one to go; then it's just a matter of trimming off the excess tape and cardboard without cutting Ducky's feet. (As if this hasn't been nerve-wracking enough already...)
And here she is with her new shoes! Maybe this will help explain why I named her Ducky- she looks like she has webbed feet.
She continued getting her daily formula to build up her strength.



I waited for 3 days before taking off the booties.....




Here are Ducky's feet now!

Unfortunately, she lost the left shoe at some point without me noticing and it didn't have time to work like the other one did. You can see the middle toe is still curled some, but the right foot- which was actually worse than the left one anyway- looks great. The best part is she can walk and stand just like normal! I could splint the left one again, but Ducky seems to be glad to be rid of her special shoes and for now she is walking great so I may just leave it be.


Ducky still has along way to go... she is so much smaller than the other chicks. But she is back with the others and doing good, and I'll continue to give her formula until I'm satisfied she is eating and drinking like she should. Ducky has proven to be a tough little gal so far, so I'm hoping for the best!

Happy Wednesday, everyone!

51 comments:

  1. Good for you, Paula.. You are one smart chickie yourself.. Little Duckie must be so thankful.. smile..
    Have a great day, dear...

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  2. Good Morning Paula, What a sweet story of perseverance and patience by both you and Ducky! I hope she gains strength every day. The pic of Lily and Ducky is too cute! Wishing all of you a great day.
    M. Lane

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  3. Pretty ingenious cure. Whodathunk a pair of flippers could've helped?
    This is the 2nd chicken doctoring post I've read this week.

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  4. Yay! Dr. Paula, Chicken Woman...coming soon to a theater near you! Ducky's a cutie...Lily looks a little confused by all of this, though!

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  5. Hi Paula, Oh what a heartwarming story about Little Ducky! You are so kind to give her the extra attention she needed... Hope Ducky continues to get stronger, you'll have to post updates for us..

    Blessings to you and Ducky,
    Traci

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  6. Bless you Paula, I'd have done the same thing. I can't stand to give up on anything! You're good at what you do! I loved the little shoes and to see her walking around. HER? HIM? Lily looks a tad jealous, maybe not. Hope the 'little chick who could' does!
    Debbie

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  7. Awwww, God bless you Paula, how thoughtful and loving of you to make ducky those special shoes:) That's awesome, and LOVE the pic of Ducky and Lily, LOL!!!!!

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  8. Paula, you are a wonder, and have a heart full of compassion. Ducky is so blessed to have you. She is adorable. You are now officially a Dr in my eyes.~smiling~
    Can't wait to see how fast she grows.
    Sue

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  9. Paula that is wonderful! It has happened to me before (the curled toes) ,one rooster is now 3 years old.Sure wish I had thought about the shoes.Have a good day,Jen

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  10. oh, this is so sweet! i am glad your orthodics worked! i hope she will get big and strong now!

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  11. Awwww, I would have done the same, Paula! I love me my animals - even the little bitty ones. I think Ducky's gonna be a special girl (or boy) on your farm! So glad you gave her a chance!!!

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  12. Paula you are one sweet gal! So glad you were able to come up with a fix for Ducky's feet. Loved the photo of Ducky and Lily together.

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  13. Awww.... that is too cute!! I had never heard of that either so I'm glad you wrote about your experience!

    I totally understand your obsession with baby chicks! I had planned on ordering some but most of them aren't available when I want them so I'm just going to get some from the feedstores in the fall then order some of the fun breeds in spring. I'm overly excited!

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  14. You are one of the sweetest and kindest gals I know! Not too many people would worry about just one little chick. You certainly have a heart of gold.
    Keep being just who you are---- wonderful!!

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  15. Obviously, you should have been a vet! Loved this.

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  16. Oh Paula! What a Great Mommy you Are! Ducky looks Great!!!
    Are you going to re-splint the left one? I think I'd try it...It worked SO Well on the right one!
    Can't wait for more updates and photos!
    hughugs

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  17. All I can say is, WOW! You are definitely a "rescuer," Paula, and I admire you for your big heart!!!! I know Ducky has a chance at life with you taking care of her. LOVE the picture of Ducky and Lily. Just too precious.

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  18. Isn't the internet great? imagine being able to help the little dear..in times past, she would have gone into the big hen house in the sky, lucky chick!

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  19. Wow, your dedication and commitment to those chicks is absolutely incredible. Beautiful post, Paula!! You have a very Lucky Ducky there! ;)

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  20. Bless your big huge heart, I think this is wonderful and of course I would be doing the same thing. I so hope this little one makse is and please let us know how Ducky is.

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  21. You have the sweetest blog & the sweetest heart for animals! I am AMAZED!!!
    Duckie wins my heart!

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  22. I love peeps and I am so glad you let some brooders sit. They will bring you many smiles.
    I'm going to call you the 'Chicken Whisperer'. Little Ducky is the luckiest chick in the coop. She's a plucky, lucky Ducky!
    Seriously, your heart is as big as the great outdoors and it has to be your best quality.
    Love you, Paula Fraker!!!!
    Hugs~★Linda★

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  23. All chicks like a good pair of flip-flops in the summer!
    Hugs~★Linda★

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  24. What a cute story about Ducky.
    I must say you are quite the doctor.
    I hope that she gets along real well from now on.
    Please keep us posted on her.
    Hugs

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  25. Now this says much about you: who else would be so kind? Keep us informed about the progress he makes. Sometimes we see chicks with four legs; two will be normal and two will be tiny.

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  26. You are a genius! What a cute Ducky.

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  27. I wish there were more people like you to cared enough to do something like that! You did a good job!! Very sweet story!!

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  28. I loved the Ducky story. I can't imagine letting nature take it's course when the solution was so simple. Sometimes nature's course is you looking for a solution. I did want to say that the look on Lily's face is priceless. I think Lily needs a buddy.

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  29. There are few times that I am speechless but here I sit,,,mouth agape,,laughing and smiling. You beat everything,,,you really do. You know you should patent these,,,right?

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  30. we love you, we love you, we love you for helping ducky.
    Benny & Lily

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  31. I love that picture with the dog and that little chicken,lol. Priceless. Richard

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  32. Paula, you are a true-blue Farm Chick!
    Grow Ducky, grow!

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  33. Paula, what a wonderful thing you did for sweet little Duckie..I am amazed at the outcome...))smiles))

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  34. Oh, what a precious posting. Poor little Ducky. I sure hope her feet will be okay now. She sure has gone through a lot to just be a chick. You were real smart to think of the corrective shoes.

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  35. Paula, thanks for a good laugh this morning!!!! too funny!
    but very sweet!

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  36. Fascinating. Nice blog work. I came across your blog while “blog surfing” using the Next Blog button on the Nav Bar located at the top of my blogger.com site. I frequently just travel around looking for other blogs which exist on the Internet, and the various, creative ways in which people express themselves. Thanks for sharing.

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  37. Paula, this made me cry.......I am so proud of you and think you are so wonderful to care so much! Great idea! blessings,Kathleen

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  38. This was truly fascinating Paula. Ducky is so cute, and you are an incredibly thoughtful lady to do the research and care required to help Ducky.
    Blessings,
    Marcia

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  39. What a wonderful mommie...you are!! It's unbelievable that that little fix worked so fast! You are so ingenious!

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  40. Paula - you are so good with your animal husbandry skills - who woulda thunk it? corrective shoes for a chick.

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  41. This post is fascinating! I was reading it like a medical thriller! God bless you for your kindness to God's little creatures. You did an unbelievable job---the pictures are wonderful!!!!

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  42. wow, you amaze me Paula. That is the cutest thing I've ever seen, the little shoes I mean. Great results.
    Oh and not to mention Lily checking her out...too darn cute.

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  43. Stars in your crown woman...stars in your crown!

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  44. This is such asweet post. I hope Ducky gets it's strength back. You have a heart of gold Paula..Susie

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  45. Oh Paula, you are adorable!
    Little Duckie is so fortunate to have you as a mommy!
    As for that picture of Lily and little duckie, I think if Lily opened his mouth, duckie would fit right in there!
    LOL
    Ann

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  46. That is so interesting, I love how you've helped Ducky! I've never seen a chick with a splint. I'll have to remember that, just in case. I do have a hen with a toe on each foot that is curled under like that.

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  47. This is so sweet! Bless you for giving her a chance!

    I have heard of this before too but have not encountered it myself. I'm glad it worked out!

    I like your blog!

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  48. Paula, what a great story..Love the name also (Ducky). Like you I had a baby silkie/cochin mix that somehow had broken its leg. I brougt her in and made a splint and kelp her wrap on for 5 wks...she is fine now an we have named her "tweetie pie". What we do to help our feathered babies..vera
    www.vlauterbach1@hotmail.com

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  49. a splint on that foot and toe should still straighten it out... they are so flexible when young... great job!
    I am a goat lady, and with a pony ride and petting farm, I also doctor up the owies that come with this life. I am so glad that God is the Big Doctor... He is so good!

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  50. oh my goodness -- I love folks who go above and beyond because, well, just because. The "Lily meet Ducky" photo is a treasure. I hope you'll print and frame that one!

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  51. What a wonderful story. I'm so glad you noticed the problem while there was still time to correct it. Taking her under your 'wing' that way was so sweet.

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