Towards the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, Caleb and Courtney Sugarman decided to get a few pet ducks. That was back in April, and a few months later, they were gifted some Silkie chickens.
Being new to duck and chicken ownership, the couple wasn’t expecting anything to happen when one of the hens began to sit on a large duck egg. They didn’t realize the broody hen could actually hatch anything, let alone a different species. But to their surprise, a few weeks before Christmas, the hen began to lay even more eggs to sit on.
Courtney shared with The Vegan Insider, “She sat on the duck egg 1st. We’re new to ducks and chickens and just naively thought that it couldn’t hatch. So we let her be then I checked under her about 2 weeks later and realized she had 7 chicken eggs under her as well.”
They decided to let her be and see what would happened. To keep the mama hen from the cold Vermont winter, they pulled her into the house, along with her 8 eggs.
They numbered the eggs to keep track of them.
As Courtney shared with WCAX, just before Christmas, two of the chicken eggs hatched. However, the chicken eggs weren’t alone. A tiny duckbill broke through a shell and appeared.
Courtney told WXAC, “We looked under her and saw a duck bill coming out and we were like, Oh, my gosh! It actually hatched.”
“It was the wrong beak,” Caleb added.
Despite its differences from the other chicks, the little ducks fully believes he’s one of them.
He eats with them, plays with them, and he even tries to nestle his way under mama hen’s body for warmth.
The Sugarmans are keeping the mama, chicks, and duckling all together in the house until they’re big enough to safely live outside.
They plan to introduce the duckling to the rest of their ducks at some point, but they’re unsure how he’ll adapt to life with ducks now that he thinks he’s a chicken.
How sweet is that?!
See the duckling in action: