So Pang decided to help out the little guy. He got a hand from Mark Ungrin — and from the 3-D printer that Ungrin, another assistant professor of veterinary medicine at the university, had in his lab.
"I immediately thought of Dr. Mark Ungrin, as I knew he had a 3D printer in his laboratory and thought he might be able to design and create prosthetic feet for the rooster," Pang said in a release.
Pang was right — though the task fell to Douglas Kondro, a student spending his summer in Ungrin's lab. Kondro is an undergrad, studying mechanical engineering at the university.
He was assigned the rooster project and … okay, the initial attempt was not great, to be honest.
"The first ones didn't work," Kondro said in the release. "He couldn't really walk and kept falling over so I was pretty disappointed."
Version 2.0, though -- that one was solid.
"It was pretty exciting to see him strut around," Kondro said.
Here's Kondro, explaining in the release how the feet were created:
"I went and got some moulds of his stumps and scanned them to make a computer model," Kondro said. "I got my hands on some wild turkey feet and used the scanner for that as well and matched them up to get a negative of the foot stump. Then, I printed off the stumps and printed off the new feet and painted them with silicone so they’d be sturdy but flexible and soft for the rooster."
Sounds rad, right? Another cool thing of note: Pang is a vet, and Ungrin said in the release that he's got a background in tissue engineering and cell biology. Then there's Kondro, the engineering student.
"Even though things started out purely by chance," Pang said in the release, "this collaboration is really a very good example of how clinical sciences can tie in with basic researchers and solve a very real, and very acute, problem."
You can see rooster, who has since been adopted, walking around in the video below. Look at this dude go!