To Filipinos, a balut egg is considered a delicacy–one that some would argue should be completely enjoyed, including the developing embryo.
But one man decided to see what would happen if he attempted to hatch the duck egg with a makeshift incubator at home.
In an email exchange with When In Manila, Glenn Tibay shared the story of how he had hatched a balut in the middle of a pandemic which had now grown to be a full-sized adult, which he had named Bal, that his family now keeps as their pet.
“A little history on him: my wife, Shiela, had brought home 2 raw balut eggs to cook toward the end of September 2020. I snatched them, candled them with a flashlight, and found they looked still viable. Made a makeshift incubator out of a box, towels, and hand heater,” Glenn began.
“Bal broke free of his egg October 25th, 2020, a fluffy black bundle of fuzz. The other duckling, Lut, sadly did not make it out of his shell and passed a few days later.”
Glenn shared how surprised he was that Bal the Duck had become fast friends with their pet dog instead of the hens that his family also owned inside their household.
“He didn’t get along with our chicken hens, but quickly became friends with Lukey, our only dog at the time, who also had been rejected by the hens. They would sleep snuggled up and play chase all day,” Glenn said. “Bal eventually grew almost as big as Lukey and they’re the best of friends. We even joke that Bal is the better guard – he follows me around everywhere but pecks hard at Shiela and other visitors, even at our other dog. Often enough he wrestles Lukey and wins.”
Glenn even takes Bal the Duck on walks outdoors too! “A few months ago we found a harness that fit Bal and started taking him out for walks with the dogs. He’s still shy leaving the condo, but has no problem walking alongside Lukey on the fields near our house,” he told us.
“Eventually he will be coming with us to our farm in Lipa where we’ll be building him a small pond and hopefully hatching or bringing him home a mate.
We’re not raising any of our animals for slaughter or sale. They’re part of the family, and it’s great having more life in the city that aren’t just the regular domestic dogs and cats. My 3 year old daughter, Xena, is growing up in love with all sorts of animals, including Bal.”
As of writing, Glenn and his family have seven cats, three dogs, two hens, one rooster, two goats, six rabbits, and Bal the Duck, all of which will eventually move to their farmhouse where the family will soon reside.
“I hope our story might inspire others to pick up unusual pets as well, even in the heart of the concrete jungle,” Glenn added. “They’re great company, amazing playmates, were definitely a big part for us living through the bleakness of quarantine, and always a refreshing breather from the cramped condo lifestyle.”
All photos supplied by Glenn Tibay
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