Orphaned duckling gets a mother hen

Craven Herald: Thornton Hall Farm owner Emma Harrison with the duckling and hen Thornton Hall Farm owner Emma Harrison with the duckling and hen

A MOTHER hen has taken an orphaned duckling under its wing.

A three-week-old mallard duckling has proved to be quite an attraction at a farm park in Thornton-in-Craven.

The young duckling was brought to Thornton Hall Farm when it was just a day old.

Emma Harrison, manager of the farm park, said a Pendle man was driving up a lane by his house when he found the duckling.

"He spent two hours trying to find its mother and any other ducklings," said Emma. "Then he brought it to us and we put it straight into an incubator because it was so young.

"After four days we let it out and farmer John Harrison tried to find a hen to 'mother it on'," she said. "We didn't think it would work, but amazingly we now have a duckling who thinks its mum is a hen."

The hen, a Silky, Light Suffolk and Gold Laced Wyandotte cross, has made the transition to mothering a duckling look natural.

"People don't realise they're different birds at first because the duckling looks so at home," said Emma. "Once we point out, people are bit shocked but they then are mesmerised just watching them."

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