We arrived home and went straight to check on the ducklings. Broody hen had brought them out into the run for some refreshments. But there were only four. Looking into the nest the unhatched egg lay there unchanged and abandoned. Picking it up I was sure it was dead. It was stone cold and there was no sign off life. However, when I pulled away more of the shell it moved. We rushed it indoors and switched on an incubator. I carefully pulled away more shell and tried to release the ducklings head. It was almost tied in a knot. It was wrapped right round itself and this was obviously the reason it had been unable to hatch!! There are people who say that if they can't hatch themselves then we should leave them to it, but not me, I wasn't going to leave it! The poor duckling looked very strange, it's neck appeared to be three times as long as it should have been! I know they are Runners, but seriously?
Anyway, poor little chap was kicking furiously and getting nowhere so I eventually freed it from the shell and gave it some water. Things were still not looking good, it couldn't stand up or hold up it's head. I realised it couldn't stay in the inccy much longer and started to set up the brooder. Brand new and not wired up yet! Probably not the thing to do quite late at night and after a few glasses of wine, but it had to be done! Anyway, I wired it up wrong and managed to electocute myself in the process. Eventually gave in and asked my neighbour for help. Nice chap and was still up watching the grand prix! Finally got it sorted and I set it up next to my bed and had a very restless nights sleep.
But this is what I found in the morning;
That looks much more like a proper duckling! I couldn't believe the difference! Very wobbly on it's feet and walking right back on it's legs rather than up on it's feet, but wow it's head was on straight! After plenty of TLC and exercise courtesy of the kids it began to look better and better.
And this evening it went back out to the broody, who accepted it straight away. Within a couple of hours it was waddling around with the other ducklings as if it had always been there. So to those of you that don't intervene - up yours :P