Woman hatches duckling after incubating egg from Morrisons

Baby bird named Braddock Morris after its breed and the supermarket the egg was purchased from

Kate Ng
Wednesday 05 May 2021 16:36
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Duckling hatches from carton of eggs from Morrisons

A woman who hatched a duckling from an egg she bought from a Morrisons supermarket in Wales plans to raise the baby bird as a pet.

Adele Phillips embarked on the experiment at the start of April after she bought a carton of free range Clarence Court duck eggs from the supermarket branch in Port Talbot.

She named the duckling, which hatched on 29 April, Braddock Morris after its breed, Braddock White, and Morrisons where she bought the eggs. She also bought another duckling from a pet shop in Neath, named Beryl, as a friend “because they like to have company”.

Ms Phillips told Wales Online she decided to buy an incubator to try hatching the eggs after she had seen someone else doing it online.

She researched how to check if the eggs were fertilised and found advice online that claimed “you could check to see… by shining a torch on them and seeing if you could see veins inside”.

“I could only see one with veins - which is the one I have now - and got rid of the rest,” she told the newspaper.

Ms Philips then placed the egg that she believed was fertilised inside the incubator, turning it three or four times a day and ensuring the temperature was stable at all times.

“Before I knew it, it started pecking little holes through the shell on the day it was due,” she said, adding that she was “shocked” and turned to someone “from a duck page on Facebook” to help coach her through the hatching.

According to Ms Phillips, the duckling took “about 48 hours” to peck its way out of its shell and she discovered it had fully hatched when she came home from work the following day.

In a Facebook post with videos of the bird, she wrote: “Welcome to the world Braddock Morris the ducking from a free range Morrisons duck egg, well worth the 30 days of anxiety.

“He’s here all safe, what an experiment that was and I can’t believe we actually did it!”

She originally intended to give little Braddock away if she was successful in hatching it, but has since decided to keep him and plans to install a pond in her garden for Braddock and Beryl.

Both birds currently reside in a box Ms Phillips set up with a heat lamp to keep them warm.

“When I first told people I had the egg, they were all having a laugh at me,” she told Wales Online. “My partner thinks it is really cool and was shocked that could happen from a supermarket egg.

“Whenever [Little Morris] sees my face he gets really excited and starts chirping really loud… he’s so sweet, he cuddles up under my ear in my hair and his eyes close. Every time he looks at me I feel like my heart is going to explode.”

A vast majority of eggs sold in supermarkets will not be fertilised, but sometimes it can happen if a male gets into a flock of commercial egg-producing hens.

In 2019, 14-year-old William Atkins successfully hatched a duck egg bought from Waitrose - also from Clarence Court - using an incubator he bought on eBay.

At the time, Clarence Court said it was unsure how the egg came to be fertilised and suggested that an erroneous male was accidentally allowed into their flock or a wild drake snuck in.

The Independent has contacted Morrisons and Clarence Court for comment.

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