From purple Crocs to fluffy boots: The chicken who has a better shoes than you

Boots are Nubz's favourite shoes and he has them in several colours. Credit: calliope.nubz.insta / Instagram

By ITV News Producer Hannah Ward-Glenton

Purple Crocs, velcro trainers, reindeer booties and even feet-shaped shoes - these are all types of footwear Nubz has in his collection. The catch? Nubz is a chicken.

But this isn't the whacky whims of a pet owner looking to have the most fashionable chicken in town.

These shoes allow Nubz to walk after he became ill and lost his toes.

"We treated him and that's how we got the boots because I needed something to keep his wraps protected from the dirt," Nubz's owner, Meesh, told ITV News.

"He didn't go out much in the beginning because I was really worried about his feet ... they just got messed up a lot. So he had to wear his little boots," she said from her home in California.

Nubz lost his toes after getting scaly leg mites, which typically infest birds and cause damage and inflammation.

Nubz has fluffy booties in a range of colours as they fit his feet the best.

The first pair of shoes donned by Nubz were originally designed for chihuahuas, but Meesh's mother-in-law then got involved and the chicken's collection grew and grew.

Once Nubz's story gained traction on social media, followers started offering to send new accessories.

Nubz now has 64 pairs of shoes in total, but his favourites are the fluffy booties as they fit the best. The bird also has pairs in brown, pink, turquoise, green, dark blue and black.

Meesh also emphasised that the shoes are physical aids for Nubz, and that chickens with toes should not be wearing footwear.

Nubz has 64 pairs of shoes in total, ranging from fluffy boots to Velcro trainers.

Meesh has often been a port of call for people looking to rehome animals, and she first met Nubz when she was adopting two malnourished guinea pigs.

"(The woman with the guinea pigs) said that she was moving and she couldn't take her little disabled chicken with her and she asked if I would take him," Meesh said.

"I just saw how tiny he was... I knew of the breed serama but I never actually held one. He weighs less than a pound and a normal chicken is like six to eight pounds," she said.

Meesh was eager to treat Nubz to prevent the mites from spreading to her other chickens, which she initially bought to improve her dog training skills.

"Originally I got them because I wanted to practise clicker training because it's honing a dog training skill. If you can do it on chickens, you can definitely do it with dogs," Meesh said.

She hadn't expected to bond with the birds as much as she has.

"All of them have big personalities and I didn't realise I would get so attached to my chickens. But they're just like dogs."

And while Nubz isn't as mobile as his other poultry pals, he has very much endeared himself to Meesh's family.

"If we go to family gatherings, everyone's like, 'Where's Nubz?'" Meesh said.

Nubz has had further health struggles since getting his shoes, and an X-ray showed he has two bad discs in his neck.

Meesh was determined to improve his quality of life, and arranged a physical therapist who would provide Nubz with light therapy, massages, exercise and acupuncture.

Nubz has a specially designed wheelchair for when he suffers bouts of ill health. Credit: calliope.nubz.insta / Instagram

In the meantime Nubz got around in his own chicken wheelchair, but two months later, he started walking again.

After getting in an argument with another of Meesh's chickens, Nubz has recently reinjured his neck and is back in his wheelchair, but that doesn't stop him from having cuddles with the family.

"He loves being fed treats and he just, since he doesn't have toes, it's not like he really has a great ability to like, go do things," Meesh said.

"So he's very content to just sit on people's laps and just be a part of whatever the human is doing. He's a big part of the family."

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