Our neighbour, Lyndy, is an organic egg producer and supplies us with superb organic eggs for hilbarn fresh produce boxes each week. This week Lyndy sent us this magical photograph, the results, she says, of "a bit of a science experiment". She explains: "We had a broody hen who wanted to sit on eggs so we sat her on six of our friend Heather's duck eggs (organic) for one week, then placed six of our hens' eggs under her for a further 21 days. Duck eggs take 28 days to hatch and hen eggs 21 days. Heather wasn't sure whether our white petticoat hen would "mother" the ducklings. And we didn't want her to sit for all that time without having a family at the end of it if we had to take the ducklings from her. We weren't sure what would happen."
The results are very photogenic: "Two of the chicken eggs weren't fertile," says Lyndy, "and two of the ducklings didn't make it, so we ended up with 4 ducklings and 4 chickens. Very neat, and a first for us!"
Lyndy has provided her new family with a miniature swimming pool, which the ducks have taken to "like a duck to water". Meanwhile, the chicks scratch about doing chicken things while Lyndy watches over them, mindful that the chicks don't drown!