The kindhearted woman spent over a month painstakingly caring for a cracked duck egg that had all the odds stacked against its survival.
Betsy Ross from Visalia, California, is practically a saint. The incredibly kindhearted woman spent over a month painstakingly caring for a cracked duck egg that had all the odds stacked against its survival. The lucky little duckling came into Ross's life when she and her family went to the park to play pickleball and noticed that someone had smashed up the duck nests that were there. Amid the wreckage, her children found one egg that despite having a small crack on it, was still intact.
"We go out and play pickleball probably three or four days a week," Ross told ABC's Localish. "There's a pond that they have there where all the ducks lay eggs. Some kids went through and they busted up all the fences [and] cracked open the duck nests." Ross' kids were really upset at the sight of the destroyed nests and urged her to save the lone survivor. "My kids were very upset about it... [they] found a lone egg with a small crack that wasn’t leaking and asked me to save it," she told Bored Panda.
"I really didn't think I had a chance of saving it because I've never hatched an egg," she continued. "I couldn't afford an incubator, so I called our local wildlife place [but] they told me they didn't take eggs." Ross, who does rescue work from time to time, started looking into the optimal conditions for hatching an egg and found that it had to warm and moist. "So I put the egg in my bra to keep it warm and started researching online how to hatch a duck," she explained. "My boobs sweat in heat (gross I know)." All Ross had to do then was rotate the egg 4-5 times a day.
"I was off work for the summer. That’s why it was in my bra and not in an incubator lol I couldn’t afford one at the time. I am an independent contractor doing sign language interpreting and most of the time I get odd jobs in summer but took time off to hatch this baby," she explained in a Reddit comment. "I carried it in my bra for 35 days and slept with it there as well. I'm a plus size girl so it just kinda fit right between my breast," Ross revealed.
"When I had to shower, I had my husband hold it. I figured if mom ducks leave to get food for a bit then wouldn’t hurt to leave to shower," she said. Ross then began looking into what to do when an egg is hatching and how to care for the little duckling after. She found that she needed to stop rotating the egg and that it needed a lot more humidity than what was available in her bra. So she started brainstorming ideas to create a suitable environment and eventually came up with a plan to make a hatching box herself with a lamp, a plastic container, gallon baggies, a bowl of water, and a lot of tape.
"At 35 days, I started hearing faint peeps which the internet said was called pipping and its beak was pushing out of the lining," she said. Although Ross put the egg in the box and waited, after a day, she feared that something was wrong. She called the vet and found that the duckling was being shrink-wrapped by the membrane in the egg. The vet informed her that she would have to slowly peel the shell away, avoiding veins and making sure the duckling's nose was where he could breathe. "He eventually got out half-way but was still connected to the yolk on the bottom of the egg," Ross revealed. "I was told it was because he was early but found out on Reddit it was from not being warm enough or the temperature not being stable."
"I got a wet paper towel and wrapped it around the shell with the yolk and put Neosporin on it so it wouldn’t get infected. Maybe not the best idea but I was scared," she said. "One day, we woke up and he was walking. Later on, I would let him swim in the tub and mud puddles. He would nap with me during the day and I made a little carrier for him and took him places with me. He would follow me and when he heard my voice, he would lose it and scream. He seemed to know when I left without him because my husband complained that he would sit and cry."
"I contacted one of my rescue connections and found a little rescue farm that is nearby," she explained. "He is doing well and has a new human girl who loves him." Ross shared the incredible story on the r/aww subreddit, writing: Saved a cracked egg! Carried it in my bra for 35 days. It was born prematurely he was still attached to the yolk and it was not absorbed so I got a wet paper towel and applied antibiotic on its cord and tummy twice a day. Surprised he didn’t die.
This woman saved a baby duck by keeping an egg in her bra for 35 days! pic.twitter.com/KYNTd98fVh— Localish (@localish) May 11, 2020
Check out how big Thawne, the lucky duckling is today: