This four-legged chicken has become a delightful sight to behold for anyone who comes across it. The three-month-old Dong Tao bird named Rod Ma, was born with a rare disability that gave it four instead of two legs.
It was found on a poultry farm owned by Wasan Kanphian in the Lampang province of Thailand.
Rod Ma has had four big legs since it was born due to genetic disorders. His father and mother are healthy. Now, I have around 200 Dong Tao chickens in my farm. Most of the chickens born disabled will hardly survive, but this disabled male chicken is different. I will not trade it and will pet it like one of my friends.
Dong Tao chickens
This is a rare breed of chicken found mainly in the Dong Tao (thus the name) commune in Khoai Chau district, about 30km from Hanoi. It has one of the thickest legs hardly ever seen among birds of that size.
The Dong Tao chicken has an imposing figure, a healthy body and stout legs covered with reddish scales.
The weight is measured at its legs. A male adult Dong Tao chicken can weigh up to 6 kilograms and develop legs as thick as a human’s wrist.
The hens are generally white, while the cocks have colourful feathers.
Meat fit for kings
A rare chicken breed prized for its delicious meat, the Dong Tao chicken was once bred exclusively to serve the royal family and mandarins.
It is now prized by chicken breeders and its meat is served in expensive restaurants that cater to the wealthy. The legs are a special delicacy in their own right giving the bird its value.
The selling prices of Dong Tao chickens in Thailand include 6,000 baht (£130) for four-month-old baby chickens, 7,500 baht (£163) for five-month-old chickens and around 18,000 baht (£392) for one-to-two-year-old father and mother chickens.
Part of the reason for the high price per chicken is that it can take 8 months to 1 year for a Dong Tao chick to mature. Typically chickens reach sexual maturity and begin laying eggs at 16 to 24 weeks.