Woman hatches ducklings from Waitrose eggs

Ewan Somerville
·2-min read
Waitrose said it was very rare for supermarket duck eggs to hatch: Charli Lello
Waitrose said it was very rare for supermarket duck eggs to hatch: Charli Lello

A Waitrose shopper has beaten “remarkably slim odds” to hatch three ducklings from a pack of supermarket eggs.

Charli Lello, 29, from Hertfordshire incubated a pack of Clarence Court eggs after becoming bored when she was furloughed from work.

But a month later, she heard a small beeping sound and found the Braddock White ducklings breaking out of their shells.

“I was shocked and so anxious that it would go wrong while they were hatching. I was glued to the incubator,” she told the Standard.

Charli Lello plans to keep the ducklings as they grow (Charli Lello)
Charli Lello plans to keep the ducklings as they grow (Charli Lello)

The assistant shop manager has named the young birds Beep, Peep and Meep and says they will grow up alongside her pet chickens.

“I do plan to keep them, we have chickens so the ducks will live with them once they have their feathers,” she said.

Charli decided to try incubating the eggs after watching videos on YouTube of others doing the same.

She has since set up an Instagram account to document the ducklings' growth into full ducks.

But she warned others thinking of following suit to be familiar with incubation techniques.

"I do not want to be the cause of an influx of dumped domestic ducks in rivers, lakes and rescue centres," she said. "They will not survive in the wild."

A spokeswoman for Clarence Court Farms said: "It is a feat of remarkably slim odds that a duckling has been hatched.

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

Waitrose said that fertilised eggs were “entirely indistinguishable” from normal eggs, unless incubated, and perfectly safe to eat.

"Our farmers work hard to ensure ducks and drakes are separated correctly," a spokesperson for the store said.

"As a result of this difficulty in sexing, a male white-feathered duck may very occasionally be left with a group of females, although, these instances are extremely rare.

"There may also be instances when a wild duck encounters farmed drakes, but again, this is rare."

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