How rooster who lost feet to frostbite could walk again
JACK Frost is the world's luckiest rooster.
Two years ago the rooster, owned by teenager Molly Jennings who lives in New Hampshire in the United States, lost his feet to frostbite.
Now, after a mammoth global effort involving a 12-year-old girl in Bundaberg and a University of Southern Queensland expert in Toowoomba, the chicken is back walking on its 3D-printed feet.
Bundaberg's Summer Farrelly runs a not-for-profit organisation called Chickens to Love - Therapeutic Chickens. Last year she met USQ Makerspace coordinator and 3D-printing expert Steph Piper.
"She loves to make prosthetics for animals and chickens and I've been mentoring her to make them," Ms Piper said.
"We were contacted by Molly in the States (about Jack Frost) and she mailed over the cast of the chicken's stumps.
"What we were able to do was 3D scan them to get a model, we then made some prototype prosthetics and mailed over a big set of these, ones with long toes, short toes, bigger and smaller ones."
Ms Piper, who was showing off the designs at the university's new Hive precinct on Wednesday, said she and Summer were currently working on a new version of the chicken feet for Jack Frost.
"It's more a blade-style design, like paralympic prosthetics, so the chicken can roll with the gait and won't get caught in its heels. It's a beautiful project to work on."
Miss Jennings said Jack was doing well two years after the frostbite incident.
"He is a very happy rooster that loves to be spoiled," she said.
"We are working with his prosthetics, they are a bit hard for him to use, of course, since he doesn't really remember having feet so we take it slow.
"But he has reacted well to them and the weight and he is used to having his stumps wrapped most of his life to prevent sores."
For Molly, she said knowing there was a group of people on the other side of the world who cared so much about a chicken and person they had never met in person amazed her.
"It's great to know more people care and love Jack as much as I do as not many people understand Jack and I," she said.
Ms Piper said the technology now existed to create prosthetics for any animals in need of help.
"What a time to be alive," she said.