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Mum Stunned As Two Miracle Ducklings Hatch From Sainsbury's Eggs

Mum Stunned As Two Miracle Ducklings Hatch From Sainsbury's Eggs

She put them in an incubator after getting the idea off a Facebook group

Amelia Ward

Amelia Ward

A mum was left shocked when two ducklings hatched from some eggs she bought from Sainsbury's.

Francesca Anker, 33, bought the Clarence Court duck eggs while she was doing her weekly shop last month and put them into a incubator to see what would happen.


She forgot they were in there though, so was stunned when she noticed a fluffy duckling looking back at her when she checked on them three weeks later.

The day after, a second Braddock White duckling hatched and the pair live in mum-of-two Francesca's kitchen. She named them Sainsbury's and BOGOF.

Clarence Court said that the chance of them hatching was 'remarkably slim', but accepted it's not impossible.

Francesca, from Warwickshire, said: "I completely forgot they were even in there so for them to even hatch was a miracle.

"When you get to three days before they're due to hatch you're supposed to turn the rotation off and put the humidity up but I didn't.

"The humidity was right down and the incubator's automatic rotation was still on.

"I forgot all about them until one day about three weeks later I looked in the incubator and thought 'oh my god there's a duck'.

"There it was just staring at me, so obviously it worked."


Francesca, who has been rescuing animals for three years, got the idea on some Facebook groups she is in, deciding she would give it a go.

She said: "We hatch and keep ducks and chickens in our garden anyway so we knew what we were doing with them when we got them.

"I happened to be in Sainsbury's and I saw this box of organic free-range farm duck eggs and thought I'd pick them up, for the price they were I wasn't losing anything.

"They were tiny when they hatched, they were probably the size of a tennis ball and could both fit into the palm of my hand.


"We're not sure if Sainsbury's and BOGOF are male or female yet as they're too young to tell.

"The other ducklings, the grey ones, are called Cheese and Crackers. We bought their fertilised eggs online, which is where I normally buy them from."

Francesca explained that to hatch eggs, you need to identify a fertile egg, let it sit for 24 hours before transporting it into an incubator and rotating it three times a day.

Just before the bird is due to hatch, the humidity needs increasing and rotation should stop - providing the best possible conditions for the baby bird to peck its way out.

Francesca said: "I left the eggs on the side for 24 hours and then did something called candling.

"Using the light on my phone I shone it through the bottom of the egg to see whether it's fertile - to see if it had either a little black dot, veins or an air pocket."


She then left them for a week in the incubator, before finding they had hatched. However, she maintains shoppers have nothing to worry about.

She said: "It's really uncommon and it's very, very unlikely to happen in chicken eggs as they take the roosters out at birth because they can sex them when they're young.


A Clarence Court spokesman said: "It is possible that our flocks occasionally and accidentally have a drake (male) among the ducks (females).

"Duck egg production is a very small industry, and the separation of males from females relies wholly upon the skill of very few qualified people - the sexer who examines the day-old duckling in the hatchery."

"Our ducks are kept in small flocks with access to the outdoors every day. In this open-air environment, while it is infrequent, our ducks may attract the attention of wild drakes.

"So, whilst it is very unusual for males and females to come into contact with one another, it is not impossible.

"Fertilised eggs are completely harmless to eat and without incubation, would be totally indistinguishable from unfertilised eggs.


"Ultimately, with an egg that has travelled from our farm to the home via our packing centre, the supermarket depot and store network, it is a feat of remarkably slim odds that a duckling has been hatched.

"But we acknowledge that it's not impossible."

Featured Image Credit: Kennedy