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Here, we describe methods for applying Sonic hedgehog (Shh) to developing chick limbs. The Sonic hedgehog gene is expressed in the polarizing region, a signaling region at the posterior margin of the limb bud and application of Shh-expressing cells or Shh protein to early limb buds mimics polarizing region signaling. The polarizing region (or zone of polarizing activity) is involved in one of the best known cell-cell interactions in vertebrate embryos and is pivotal in controlling digit number and pattern. At later stages of limb development, the application of Shh protein to the regions between digit primordia can induce changes in digit morphogenesis.