Update on our quirky, sweet Judy: Judy recently went for a two day visit to the Bay Area to see avian specialist, Dr. Speer, at Medical Center for Birds. They took amazing care of our girl and kept her overnight to do a CT scan to see if surgery was an option. Because Dr. Speer had done two surgeries on chickens similar to Judy in the past, he initially thought she might be an excellent candidate for surgery. Unfortunately, due to the nature of her deformity as seen in the scans, she was not. Basically, if it was only the lower jaw bone, the bone could be altered through surgery to align her lower beak with her upper. Judy, however, likely suffered trauma in the egg or during/right after hatching, which broke part of the upper bone in the skull that the jaw hinges on. It then grew that way permanently and no one in the avian world has yet been able to correct that problem.
What does that mean? Well, for Judy it means that she will never be able to eat on her own, but luckily, she has a mama who is happy to feed her daily for the rest of her (hopefully otherwise long and healthy) life.
For our followers, it is one more reminder why backyard chicken breeding to get “fancy colors,” “exotic looking traits,” “more egg production,” etc. harms individuals like Judy. For every healthy “cage free” chick (or egg you buy at the grocery store) there was a male chick who was killed at two days old and innumerable “imperfect” female chicks like Judy who were discarded into quite literally, the trash.
No one wanted to take the time to feed Judy at the backyard farm where she was hatched, and she quickly would have starved to death. As humans, we must do better. It is showing compassion to the most helpless among us that is our great privilege and responsibility.
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