Quackers pairing as mother hen adopts duckling

AN orphaned duckling has been taken under the wing of her very own mother hen.

Emma Harrison at Thornton Hall Farm, Skipton. Picture: Ross Parry Agency

Three-week-old Quackers was found waddling alone on the side of a country lane before she was rescued.

The tiny orphan was taken to Thornton Hall Farm in Craven, North Yorks., at just a day old and put in an incubator where she was monitored around the clock.

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After four days Quackers was introduced to a Silky, Light Suffolk and Gold Laced Wyandotte cross hen called Mother Hen, who made the transition to mothering a duckling look natural..

Emma Harrison, manager of the farm park, explained: “People don’t realise they’re different birds at first because the duckling looks so at home. Once we point out, people are bit shocked but they then are mesmerised just watching them.

“It is so cute to see them together. They are very comfortable with each other, it’s like they are best friends. They seem really happy being in a box of their own and like to snuggle up together.”

She explained that a man was driving up a lane by his house when he found the duckling.

She said: “He spent two hours trying to find its mother and any other ducklings. Then he brought it to us and we put it straight into an incubator because it was so young.

“We took the duckling home to give constant care and monitor it through the night. We started feeding it very fine grain and water and it didn’t seem distressed at all.

“After four days we let it out and farmer John Harrison tried to find a hen to mother it on.

“We didn’t think it would work, but amazingly we now have a duckling who thinks its mum is a hen.”