Malformed chicken dies in New Zealand

Thursday, October 26, 2006

A malformed Barnevelder chick born with four legs and two anuses died last Friday.

It being born with four legs meant it learned to walked on all fours, like a dog.

Marlene Dickey said she believed that the chick, called Forzie, died because it had two anuses, "...he developed two bottoms, and I think he got glugged up". The chick weighed about as much as a "good pound of butter", and grew feathers very slowly; she also said that "...he was a bit of a laugh."

When Forzie was born and found by Ryan Dickey, Marlene Dickey said: "He looks really robust and strong, he's good, he's just cruising along."

Deformed chicks are often stillborn and it is unusual that Forzie was born alive and was able to survive as long it did.

Mike Brooks, executive director of Poultry Industry Association, said: "They [four-legged chickens] were as rare as hens' teeth and were something he had heard of but never seen." Romania and Saudi Arabia had both reported cases of having chicks born with four legs.

The reason Forzie was born with extra legs was because, according to Hamilton vet Keith Houston, the stems cells located in the egg split into four, instead of the normal two.

Dickey has said that Forzie is stored in a freezer awaiting a taxidermist to stuff it. Once stuffed Dickey will donate the chick to the Auckland Museum to be put on display.

At the time the family had considered calling it Jack-peg-a-leg but instead called it Forzie.