January 2021 – Hatching in a care home: the wonderful story of Wolfeton Manor


Are you sitting comfortably? Then we’ll begin!

Back in 2018, we delivered a duckling hatching kit to a really fabulous care home in Dorset called Wolfeton Manor. The Home Manager, Claire Saxton, decided to keep the ducklings at the end of the hire period. Settings may choose to return the birds to us when we come to collect the equipment, but keeping them meant the residents could continue to watch the youngsters grow into adulthood and enjoy them for many years to come. We recently caught up with Claire and are delighted to share their ducktastic story-so-far, so sit back, relax and enjoy…

Once upon a time…

Claire told us “When the eggs came we were all excited, they were in the lounge next to the dining room and the residents would go past and check on any progress each day. All of a sudden there they were, all hatched, and chirping! It bought back lots of memories for all of us, memories of growing up on farms or working in the land army.”

Growing up…

“I will always remember summer afternoons sat in the garden with residents, watching the ducklings swimming in a children’s paddling pool. They were lovely to watch, and it didn’t take long until they were big enough to move outside.”

Moving out…

Wolfeton Manor has a large pond in the grounds, and the fantastic staff set about creating an incredible duck paradise, which they christened ‘Duckingham Palace’! The big day finally arrived when the lucky ducks were old enough to be relocated from their ‘nursery’ inside the care home to their fabulous new ‘big duck’ accommodation…

Claire says “Of course I will also remember trying to shut them in their house when it was getting dark to keep them safe from foxes, and an elusive one giving me the run around. Even worse if it was raining! At least it led to a funny story being shared over breakfast. Now the ducklings are all grown up and live very happily and very noisily on our pond in the garden.”

Coming back in…

The ducks still play an active and important role in the lives of both residents and staff. Because they’re so tame, the residents not only enjoy watching the ducks in the gardens, but indoor visits as well! This is especially beneficial to those residents who are physically limited.

One resident told us “I love hearing them outside my window.  They go in and out of their big wooden house. I wonder if they are laying eggs in there?  Its funny how majestic they are now from when they were fluffy yellow balls splashing in the paddling pool on the patio”.

Definitely not ‘The End’!

“After remembering what a fun experience it was, perhaps it’s about time we got some more?!!” Well Claire, you know where we are should you wish to increase your little gang!

We’d like to say a huge thank you to Claire, the staff and residents of Wolfeton Manor for sharing their story and beautiful photographs with us. We are so happy to have played a small part in this wonderful and uplifting ducky journey – one which still continues to bring joy to so many over two years later. We’d also like to wish a Happy New Year to all our customers, friends and supporters. May 2021 be a whole lot better than 2020!