FREE Emma Bridgewater Mug Subscribe HERE

Is it advisable to help duckling from shell?

PUBLISHED: 19:30 11 May 2014

In Andy Cawthray's piece about duck incubation he appears to be helping a duckling out of its shell. When I have done this the duckling ends up with a deformed neck and remains small. So now I do not give any assistance and the duckling eventually dies in the shell. Any comments?

Andy Cawthray replies:

Thanks for getting in touch John. The image in the article is actually a photograph I took whilst working with Graham Hicks (the well known waterfowl breeder) during his last year of significant hatching prior to his retirement. Graham rarely assisted birds during hatches preferring instead for it to make its own way out of the egg where possible. He would though peel back the membrane (as he’s doing in the image) if it was blocking the hatchlings ability to breath when checking over the hundreds of eggs hatching in the incubators.

Assisting a young bird to hatch be it duckling or chick is always a risk, and as with Graham, I rarely interfere as in my experience it frequently results in the youngster not thriving.


More from Expert Advice

Thursday, August 29, 2019

In the second of three extracts from her new book, The Climate Change Garden, co-written with Sally Morgan, Country Smallholding's gardening correspondent Kim Stoddart explains how important trees are for Britain's more extreme weather-laden future

Read more
Thursday, August 29, 2019

Home seed saving is oh so satisfying, says Kim Stoddart, who explains the collection process, as well as why ladybirds are her friends

Read more
Friday, August 23, 2019

Time is running out for outdoor sowings to crop in autumn/winter, but Charles Dowding has some advice on September plantings, as well as a word of warning on apparent weedkiller poisonings

Read more
Friday, July 19, 2019

In an extract from her new book The Climate Change Garden, co-written with Sally Morgan, Country Smallholding's gardening correspondent Kim Stoddart explains how smallholders can start future-proofing their fruit-growing efforts

Read more
Thursday, July 18, 2019

How can you widen your resilient reach beyond the veg garden? Kim Stoddart explains how native planting 'off piste' will help to entice those vital pollinators back onto your patch

Read more
Thursday, May 30, 2019

We pick six fruit and vegetables that reap multiple-harvests every year and can be grown at home

Read more

Most Read

Comments have been disabled on this article.

Most Read

Latest from the Country Smallholding