Ducken

Patricia Rydeen of Marana claims that this animal came from a rooster and duck crossbreed.

J.D. Fitzgerald/The Explorer

Call him Ducken. Call him Chucken. Call him whatever you want. What’s important is not the name, but the fact that this five-day-old rooster-duck crossbreed defied the odds of Mother Nature to even be born, despite the fact it was born with what appears to be a chicken leg protruding from its head.

Patricia Rydeen is the owner/operator of Pat’s Ears Wings N’ Things, a farm consisting of emus, chickens, ducks, roosters, peacocks, and more, noticed something odd one day: one of her roosters with a duck.

“I saw him on top of my duck, and I thought fine, they aren’t supposed to breed anyway,” said Rydeen.

But, somehow, they did breed, and Ducken was the result.

“At first I was calling it Chuck,” she said. “But that’s more like a chicken-duck, when actually it’s a duck-chicken, so I was thinking of Ducken as a name.”

Ducken, whose sex is still to be determined, has some difficulty maintaining balance, which Rydeen believes is due to the weight of Ducken’s head. Still, she is not certain Ducken will live much longer.

“If he lives, it’s meant to be,” she said. “And if he dies, it’s meant to be. I just can’t put it down. I can’t kill it. I can’t kill anything, frankly.”

For now though, Ducken seems to be happy, making typical duck-like noises and demonstrating alertness to his/her surroundings. Rydeen said despite the unusual growth, Ducken appears very similar to a typical newborn duckling.

Scientists say it is unlikely that a rooster and a duck can successfully breed.

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