Fifteen orphaned chicks find an unlikely but experienced foster father: a 15-year-old Labrador retriever named Fred.
Fred may not look the part, but he’s an experienced dad. Several times, the dog took a group of orphaned ducklings under his furry wing. According to SWNS, in 2018, Fred, then 10, was the surrogate parent of nine orphaned ducklings. A year later, Mountfitchet Castle in Essex, England – where Fred is the resident dog – posted on Facebook that Fred had taken care of another group of ducklings that were left without parents.
Now, in 2022, the big dog is the proud father of a new feathered brood.
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These ducklings were left orphaned after their mother mysteriously disappeared from the castle grounds overnight. After the mother duck is no longer the mother, Fred decides to take on the role of the parent by watching the baby birds, taking the ducklings for a ride on his back, and cuddling the baby animals.
Mountfitchet Castle recently posted photos of the lab snuggling with the baby birds on Facebook.
The landmark attraction wrote on July 5: “15-year-old Fred became an adoptive parent for the second time in 5 years, but this time for 15 orphaned chicks. Well done, Fred.”
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The pictures show the ducklings adorably huddled around Fred’s front legs and even above him as they lay together in the sun.
Fred’s owner, Jeremy Goldsmith, told SWNS he wasn’t surprised that Fred had found a new family.
“Over the 15 years of owning it, Fred spent a lot of time in the castle with the animals, and it became natural for him to be among the various animals rescued,” Goldsmith said.
The ducklings are expected to stay with Fred in the castle until they are old enough to survive on their own.
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