At SC-CARES we deal with lots of different challenges and some are easier than others to accept and work around but animals have what it takes – courage, strength and perseverance. They are grateful to be alive, fed and happy.
This story begins with a little chick named Peepers, aka “Peeps.” Peeps was hatched in a classroom so that children could witness the birth of life. Peeps hatched with what’s called spraddle leg, which means her legs would not conform under her body like they should.
One leg juts straight out to the side, while the other leg is somewhat normal, just a little curving in her toes. SC-CARES has been at capacity for a while now, only taking in animals that we thought we could manage without adding too much more to the work load and the financial aspect.
Peepers is one of the creatures we were able to help. After a vet visit, it was determined there wasn’t anything medically we could do to correct her legs. This little chick has figured out how to maneuver on her own, not very eloquently, but she gets where she wants to go.
We currently keep her in a separate coop for now until she’s older, but each day we take her out to play and she continues to amaze us. Without a mom to show her what she should do, her instincts are so keen she started eating grass, looking for bugs (with amazing eyesight) and attempting to take a dust bath, which is something all the chickens do regularly. Chickens love to kick dirt under their feathers and the dust actually keeps their skin from becoming too oily which would cause the feathers to become a mess. They love the sunshine and will often stretch their bodies out in the strangest configurations to lay in the sun and sleep.
Hopefully Peepers will continue to improve and if determination has a role, then she’ll be just fine!
We have witnessed what determination has done for so many, like an Angus steer named Norman with a broken, calcified leg who moves around and has even chased a few of us. Or a beautiful little deer named Sweetie, who had to have her mangled leg removed as a fawn after getting it trapped in tree roots. There’s also a blue and gold macaw with disfigured wings named Scratch. Kumar is a llama with a mental issue called Berserk Llama Syndrome from being hand-raised by humans without his herd. A 1,500-pound Charolais heifer thinks she’s a tiny puppy and doesn’t ever moo. A blind pig named Jimmy can search out his food bowl by listening and smelling. Grandma goat has an incurable auto immune disease but eats and loves life. Mika is a sun conure with no toes but she climbs with her beak and her one good foot. A cockatiel called Ricky has had a wing was amputated but gets around. Chester, our great horned owl with only one eye and a shoulder injury, lives his raptor house and flies from perch to window.
When I said we we’re the land of misfits, I wasn’t joking.
These are the creatures that have overcome obstacles that many of us would possibly succumb to and not have been able to enjoy our lives to the fullest extent. Watching them thrive and love the life they have is such an encouraging feeling.