Belfast Telegraph

Buddy the Rooster cock of the walk again

Bird literally looks forward to better life after rehab

Barbara Mladeck with Buddy
Barbara Mladeck with Buddy
Buddy’s treatment included time spent in a specially adapted wheelchair, physiotherapy and products from a local health company

By Ivan Little

Rescuers of a disabled rooster in Co Down are cock-a-hoop after they refused to chicken out of a fight to save his life in the face of huge problems with his legs that left him walking backwards.

Now, after a spell in an animal wheelchair, three-year-old Buddy has plenty to crow about.

The miracle rooster is back on his feet and on the road to recovery just months after vets recommended putting him to sleep.

Barbara Mladeck, who added Mama Hen to her name by deed poll several years ago, said she is overjoyed at the success of the nursing provided for Buddy.

The former banker, who gave up her work to open an animal rescue centre near Moira, said: "Buddy's owner contacted me after realising he couldn't stand up. He was losing his balance and kept falling over or walking backwards so she took him to the vets. But they weren't able to figure out what was wrong.

"Antibiotics did nothing for Buddy and the vets said it would be kinder to just let him go. However, the owner didn't want to do that and she brought the rooster to me three weeks ago. I do some physiotherapy on his legs every morning and give him some products from the local Natural Farm Health company, which are designed to boost his immune system.

"And he's definitely a lot better now. Buddy was in and out of a wheelchair but he's walking forwards again, though he sometimes falls over when he flaps his wings."

Barbara, who runs the Nut House hen rescue centre, thinks Buddy may have suffered a stroke and he is now recuperating in her disabled pen where the latest arrival is a disabled duck called Fred that also has complex mobility issues.

She added: "Fred was brought to me by a girl from Comber who was worried that he couldn't stand.

"I took him to my vet who said that his leg was broken.

"Surgery was carried out to pin it all together and then it was discovered that there was another break that had healed. However, the legacy from the older injury was that his leg was turning inwards, so every time he tried to walk he stood on his own foot and fell over."

Once the break has healed, Fred's leg will be broken and re-set to stop the limb turning in.

Barbara added: "We won't know how Fred will be until he's had that second operation but we are hoping that everything will be okay. I have a bowl of water out there for him to get into and he's enjoying that now".

Overall, Barbara has five pigs, six geese, 30 ducks, two cockatoos, 70 roosters and 120 hens in her cash-strapped rescue centre and she says they are all worth saving, even the disabled ones.

She added: "Sadly Buddy will never be completely normal and he would never be able to get away quickly enough from a predator but he's starting to show interest in some of the girls around him now."

One sign of his amorous ambitions was evident recently when Buddy sidled up to one of the hens.

Barbara says: "He tried to do a wee dance for her but he fell over."

Belfast Telegraph

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