Hen hatches baby duck and raises it like her own!

Northfield, Vermont – A mother's love is unconditional!

The duckling is quite fond of its "siblings."
The duckling is quite fond of its "siblings."  © Instagram/Screenshot/courtwa90

Courtney Sugarman and her husband Caleb decided to expand their little family last spring by adopting six ducks and three fluffy silkie chickens.

The plan worked out great, even if the little flocks initially kept away from each other.

That was the case until last November, when Courtney suddenly discovered a duck egg under one of her chickens.

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"We naively thought that nothing could happen," she told pet magazine The Dodo, "so we just let the broody hen be."

Soon after, the hen laid an additional seven eggs of her own.

"We let her and the eggs stay out in the coop and, to be honest, I still wasn't convinced that any of the eggs would hatch," Courtney recalled.

Nothing doing! By December, the hen had already hatched her first egg.

The little duck was immediately part of the family!

The fact that the duck is already much bigger than its siblings doesn't seem to bother anyone.
The fact that the duck is already much bigger than its siblings doesn't seem to bother anyone.  © Instagram/Screenshot/courtwa90

The Sugarmans brought the mother, her chick, and the remaining eggs indoors to protect them from the cold of winter in Vermont.

As a result, more and more little chicks hatched – and shortly afterwards, a little duck did, too.

The little yellow duckling immediately snuggled into the fluffy feathers of its "mama," who returned the affection without hesitation.

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No doubt about it – the duckling was part of the family.

The duck was also immediately lovingly accepted by its "siblings." The fact that it was much bigger than all the others within a few days didn't seem to be a problem.

As soon as the weather gets warmer again, the little babies will go outside to get to know their new home and the rest of their animal family.

Whether the duckling will join its fellow ducks remains to be seen, but Courtney and her husband are sure the bird just too comfortable with its little foster family.

Cover photo: Instagram/Screenshot/courtwa90

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