Clucky hen's lucky ducklings

By The Gisborne Herald

Photo / Thinkstock
Photo / Thinkstock

It was a match made in chook and duck heaven.

Last week a suburban Gisborne hen sitting on an empty nest was gifted a clutch of orphaned eggs to look after. After a little patience, she became a proud mum - to a family of ducklings.

The unusual match-up arose from the road death of the ducklings' mother outside a rural property.

It took just a quick phone call from a nearby resident who knew the duck had been nesting, and a city friend's clucky hen with warm feathers was immediately recruited.

The eggs, by then rapidly cooling off, were placed under the adoptive mum and a six-day wait began. From nine eggs, there were eight live births and the "family" are now happily getting to know each other.

The ducklings will have a pretty domestic, sheltered and well-fed start to their lives, but are lucky enough that their temporary digs are right on the banks of the city river system.

When they are ready, probably in eight to 10 weeks, they can learn to swim and return to the wild at their pleasure.

Meanwhile, there is one surprised and contented mum on a Gisborne riverbank.

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