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Unique school project gives one-legged chicken new lease on life

A unique after-school project has given a one-legged chicken a new lease on life.

Lily Humble said when she saw an ad on Kijiji for an unwanted chicken that had lost its leg, she immediately decided to give the fowl a home.

Hoppy, as she's called, became a house hen, needing extra care and attention because she can't run and defend herself.

"The other chickens will pick on her, and they can kill her," 13-year-old Lily said from her home in Palgrave.

Lily and her mother, who has a prosthetic leg, searched online for a suitable leg for Hoppy, but everything was too short for her stump.

Then the two took to social media for help with the idea of having a 3D prosthetic leg created for the bird, and the robotics team at Banting Memorial High School in Alliston accepted the challenge.

The team participates in robotics challenges that require community support, and the students aim to pay it forward with projects like Hoppy's leg.

"In order to run a robotics competition, we have to raise a lot of money, and we do that through sponsorships from the community, so we try whenever we can to give back and do things for the community," said Banting teacher Bryan Haas.

And three days after the Humble family contacted the team, the students had a prototype ready.

Robotics students at Banting Memorial High School in Alliston, Ont., created a 3D prosthetic leg for a one-legged chicken named Hoppy. (CTV News/Ian Duffy)

The robotics team spent hours working on the school's 3D printers to find the proper sizing and material to fit Hoppy's stump.

"It was unique and crazy, but I figured the kids would rise to the occasion. It's amazing what they can do. They take on all kinds of crazy challenges that I throw at them, and they've never failed," said Haas.

The students have created two prototypes, the first too big and the second a better fit and shape, but they are working on a third, with a rubbery watch band filament material that is soft around the leg and hard at the bottom.

A prosthetic leg is fitten on a one-legged chicken at Banting Memorial High School in Alliston, Ont. (Supplied)

The after-school project has been a rewarding experience for the students.

"We also learn from it as well. We get to learn how to 3D print, measuring skills, and problem-solving skills," said the Robotics Team President Amber McLenaghan.

The robotics team and the Humble family hope the third prototype will be a permanent solution for Hoppy. Top Stories

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