In an unusual incident, Roo, a rescue chicken in a California farm has been gifted a custom-made wheelchair by its owner to enable the bird to walk again. The bird was attacked by a bigger rooster and sustained severe injuries to his beak and brain, impairing basic body functions.
"You hear a lot about special needs dogs and special needs cats. Not a lot of special needs chickens," said Roo's owner Darcy Smith, who posted the injured bird's story on social media on Thursday (23 November). The post received nearly 8,400 views since.
Smith said that the incident happened following the recent California fires, from where the chicken was rescued. "A few weeks ago during the fires, we took in another rooster that was evacuated, that rooster was kept in a separate cage and the chicken got intimidated by him cause he was very big so he tried to fight that rooster through the cage," Smith told ABC-affiliate KXTV, explaining how the chicken got injured.
"When he [the injured chicken] did that he broke his beak in two places and bloodied his comb, he actually did damage to his head so he has swelling on his brain."
According to the news website, Smith, a retired officer from Vacaville, California arranged for the custom-made wheelchair from Melbourne, Australia. The chair has now helped Roo walk again as he was not even able to sit, eat, drink, or even crow soon after the fight.
Smith posted the video about Roo's condition on a Facebook page called "Funky Chicken", dedicated to the breed. The post attracted attention of many rooster lovers and animal lovers in general.
One user, who watched the video, paid for the wheelchair to offer help to Smith. Other users offered tips to Smith on how to care for the injured rooster.
"He actually loves spending time out here in the chicken yard with his flock," Smith said of the injured bird. "He's able to move around in it, sit upright, and he eats a ton. He's eating a lot of food, drinking a lot of water, and it's just made all the difference."
Smith also said that her 12-year-old daughter Jessalyn has become Roo's physical therapist and she massages Roo's feet and is slowly teaching him how to walk using the wheelchair.
"I hope he's not in this chair for the rest of his life," Smith told the news website. "He's made such a progress in a week so."