Well, I had to do something. As a nurse practitioner with a specialty in rehabilitation, I had to try. So, last night after the bedtime routines were finished and the kids went to bed, I fetched Percy Peepers from the brooder. I found it not under Dolly like the rest of the them. Instead, it was sleeping next to the heat lamp.
|Here I am, my toes are all straight!
Waking from it’s sleep, I brought it inside to the TV room where my husband was watching the Tar Heels. I first assessed it walking on the carpet. In the afternoon, I had removed the splint from its’ foot. The toes are now nice and straight. Still, hobbling around, Percy seemed stronger and a bit faster. Next, I moved onto range of motion. I first took the strong leg and found out what was normal flexibility for a chicken’s leg. Then I went over to the affected leg. A scab remains on the back of the knee. The leg is now stiff. Slowly, I gently extended the knee past the area of restriction. Over a period of several repititions, the knee started to relax and gain better range. Then we practiced proprioception, knowing where your foot is in space and time. Gently, as I supported Percy’s weight, I helped to support, place and guide Percy to stand correctly on two feet. Between repetitions, we rested. We worked for about 20 minutes together. Finally, when we finished, I gave Percy Peepers some love.
As I laid on the couch, Percy climbed into the crook of my neck between my chin and chest. The chick quickly fell asleep. I even heard what I think was a pleasure trill. A half hour passed, and I decided to return Percy to its’ family. I brought Percy over to Dolly. All of the other chicks were still sleeping underneath of her. I guided Percy to Dolly’s breast feathers and Percy quickly scuttled underneath of Dolly.
Photo credit: Tilly’s Nest