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Four legged chicken found in New Zealand

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posted on Sep, 19 2006 @ 03:43 PM

06 September 2006

It looks like an experiment gone wrong but the owner of a four-legged chicken denies fowl play.

Ryan Dickey, 10, found the four-legged wonder legging it around an incubator at his Te Uku home on Monday.

Mum, Marlene, breeds 14 types of chickens and said it was the first time she'd seen one hatch with four legs.

The little clucker is a Barnevelder chicken, a Dutch breed, and Mrs Dickey said other lesser legged chicks had accepted it without a problem.

"He looks really robust and strong, he's good, he's just cruising along."

The chick uses its bottom two legs to walk on.

She had noticed nothing out of the ordinary with the rooster and hen leading up to the lay and neither appeared to be feeling particularly clucky yesterday, she said.

A battery of researchers have found four-legged chickens are not unheard of but Poultry Industry Association executive director Mike Brooks said they were as rare as hens' teeth and were something he had heard of but never seen.

Other four-legged chickens had been reported in Romania and Saudi Arabia.

Hamilton vet Keith Houston said in the Dickey's chick case, stem cells in the egg had divided into four instead of two, meaning an extra pair of legs.

The family intend keeping the chicken as a pet and are considering naming it Jack-peg-a-leg.

Picture link here:

Mod Edit - fixed link and added 'ex' tags

note: please don't just cut and paste...add a little bit of commentary to your post.

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[edit on 19-9-2006 by masqua]

posted on Sep, 20 2006 @ 12:26 PM

Poultry Industry Association executive director Mike Brooks said they were as rare as hens' teeth and were something he had heard of but never seen.

Hen's teeth are though to be an evolutionary throw back, genes long since deactivated that in the distant reptilian past of the birds gave them teeth, becomming accidentally re-activated today.

Unfortunately, this particular case doesn't seem to be a throwback to the days when they had fully functional 'hands', rather than wings. It looks like it has four legs and still has two wings, and, as noted, they think its a matter of the leg stem cells spliting too much. Still, pretty fascinating.

Evolution of avian wing diagram

posted on Sep, 21 2006 @ 09:15 AM
It would never evolutionise into a four legged chicken, by having the wings transforming. It would require MANY mutations which couldnt happen at once (In practice). And on top of that, they wouldnt look like the regular legs.

posted on Sep, 21 2006 @ 09:27 AM
If they can grow complex teeth, why not have the programming that causes the developing 'fingers' to fuse become non-functional? I won't claim to be familiar with the details of the genetic involved in fusing the fingers, but there's nothing that says it can't become undone in freaks. Birds being born with teeth is pretty damned surprising and unexpected, why not hands instead of wings? The hoatzin is a bird that is born with hands, and during growth, the hands become wings, for example. Its not unthinkable, though I agree it'd be incredible.

posted on Oct, 14 2006 @ 05:06 PM
interesting concepts, the hand thing however i'm not so sure about. I think the thing with "hand evolution" is that for a chicken to develop fully functional hands, there's probably going to be a billion-to-one chance of it happening mutationally. since by mutation theres' so many ways it could mutate. most that produced a hand would not produce a functional one. and then again, would both hands be reasonably similar and functional?
I'd think if one appeared, it wouldn't be down to mutation. it would maybe be down to an evolutionary throwback of probably millions and millions of years. to have it mutate, it'd be like throwing a pebble into Loch Ness and expecting to find it again! But, as in any science, can't rule anything out! just an idea mind, feel free to Burn me if im wrong

posted on Oct, 14 2006 @ 05:15 PM
I agree, a single muation causing the hands to not develop as a fused bone would be extremely unlikely.

posted on Oct, 25 2006 @ 09:05 AM
poor little four legged chicken dies!

Apparently it probably died not because of it's four legs but because of it's extra bumhole.

...the world mourns...

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